Adopted Dog Brings Balance and Joy to her Hardworking Family

Charlie shows her career-focused pet dads the importance of slowing down and appreciating the little things in life.

Joshua + Charlie

When Joshua and his husband adopted Charlie, her love and dedication prompted them to rediscover what’s most important in life: time together as a family. Now the three of them enjoy long walks together, cuddles on the couch, and quality time.

"Having Charlie has made us reevaluate what’s important in life."

Our search for a dog took longer than we had hoped, but everything happens in good time and for good reason. Eventually, Charlie came into our lives and made our family complete. Her quirky personality makes us laugh, her cuddles warm our hearts, and her kisses let us know we’re her forever home. We didn’t just choose her; she chose us back. Most importantly, she reminded us that we work to live and not the other way around.

My husband and I had been talking about adopting a dog for years. Life can become monotonous very quickly if we are only focusing on our careers. But we also recognized the tremendous responsibility of having a dog. Given our busy lifestyle, we wanted to make sure that we found the right dog so we could give them a full life. We searched for over a year to no avail. We finally found I Stand With My Pack and they were willing to work with us to find our perfect match. That’s how Charlie came into our lives.

Charlie had a bit of a rough journey. Her original family was an older couple who passed away, unfortunately. I Stand With My Pack rescued her and tried to place her with an adoptive family, but she was returned several times due to behavioral issues. Imagining what she had been through, we knew we couldn’t give her back yet again.

It took some time for Charlie to open up to us, but we were patient. We gave her space and let her come to us. Eventually, she realized we weren’t just another temporary home, we were her forever family. She started to get more comfortable with us and really let her personality start to show. She started becoming more affectionate and started playing with toys again.

Once the travel restrictions started easing back up, my husband started going on business trips again. The first time he came back after a multi-day trip, she squealed when she saw him and started dancing around him in circles. She couldn’t contain herself for almost fifteen minutes. That’s when we knew we’d made the right decision.

Having Charlie has made us reevaluate what’s important in life. She doesn’t care about what’s going on at work. She knows that every afternoon we go for a long walk as a family and then come home and have dinner together. She knows we cuddle on the couch and watch TV before going to bed. She really looks forward to this quality time. Every day at five o’clock on the dot she prances into my office, stares at me, and makes her telltale grumble until I shut down my computer. It’s easy to get caught up chasing professional success, but she keeps us grounded in what really matters. Charlie forces us to slow down and appreciate the little things. We’re so grateful to have her in our life now.

Each year, Petco Love Stories invites adopters to share how their pets have changed their lives to give the organizations that they’ve adopted from the chance to receive grant awards. This story by Joshua won I Stand With My Pack in Culver City, California a 2021 Love Stories award.