Kacie + Maple

Rescue Pup and New Owner Experience the Joy of Life

Kacie + Maple

On January 11, 2012, my life changed. I had visited Northwoods Humane Society on several occasions searching for a spaniel or a retriever, but this time the pitbull in the corner sitting patiently with her head tilted asking, “Pet me?”, caught my eye.

She was found tied up and abandoned in an alley and was on the euthanasia list before Northwoods Humane Society rescued her. For two months, she waited patiently for a family as she saw dogs come and go.

"It’s the everyday small things that have immeasurable impact on me, my outlook on life, and who I’ve grown to be."

Her name was Maple and she was about to become my best friend. Maple’s an adventurous gal, always ready to go on a journey with me. Before she came into my life, I didn’t have anyone to share experiences and make memories with but she changed it all.

Maple KayakingOur first adventure was buying a houseboat where Maple and I would sit on the roof and watch the stars and fish, repair motors, swim and kayak. We enjoy camping, backpacking, and skijoring, all activities that would have been unbearably lonely by myself. But Maple was my co-captain.

Some may say that Maple hasn’t committed any heroic act, but it’s the everyday small things that have immeasurable impact on me, my outlook on life, and who I’ve grown to be. She has helped me become more kind and compassionate, and motivates me every day to appreciate little things, smile, and enjoy life. She’s taught me to be a better listener, greet people with excitement (like she does), and be a devoted companion. All these life lessons learned from a dog who almost lost her life.

Maple Skijoring

As if that wasn’t enough, Maple really changed my world on one of our adventures at the beach. The day was perfect, but the beach was crowded, so we snuck around to a more hidden cove. We had the place to ourselves, just us and a fishing boat offshore. Then, I heard a splash and swimming towards us was the fisherman’s dog obviously attracted by Maple.

In no time, the dogs were running, jumping and splashing. Eventually, the guys pulled up and we introduced ourselves while apologizing for each other’s dog instigating the other. An hour later they invited us for pizza and a month later Eddie and I were dating.On this day when I probably would have retreated indoors, Maple brought me swimming to find the love of my life.

Maple and family

With Eddie’s future of odd-hours as a police officer and potential for more deployments with his Military Police unit, Maple continues to be my comfort and because of her I’ll never be alone.

It’s hard to imagine that she was once abandoned in an alley, because I can’t imagine life without her. She hasn’t changed my life, she’s made it all that it is and continues to make me a better person every day.

Maple Berry Picking

Each year, the Petco Love invites adopters to share the story of how their adopted pet changed their lives during the annual Holiday Wishes campaign, giving the organization that they adopted from a chance to receive a grant award. This story by Kacie Carlson won Northwoods Humane Society in Wyoming, Minnesota a 2015 Holiday Wishes award.