Adopted Dog Finds the Secret to Work/Life Balance: Walks, Belly Rubs, and Hikes

Thanks to Kimchi, Aparna and her husband now remember to take breaks, get away from the screen, and step out into nature.

Aparna + Kimchi

When the pandemic hit, Aparna and her husband realized that working from home was a convenient time to adopt a new best friend. Then they found Kimchi, a dog from South Korea who loves exploring nature and who helped her family pack find balance.

"Adding Kimchi into our life has really made our family whole. Although she feels that she was rescued, it is she who rescued us from our work-from-home lives and taught us to appreciate the sounds, sights, and smells of nature."

My husband and I had always wanted to adopt a dog and with both of us working from home when COVID-19 hit, we realized that this may be our only opportunity to be home when we add a new member to our family. Even though our 3-year-old rescue cat might have objected, we were headstrong on going forward. That’s when I chanced upon Wildhearts Rescue and after contacting them, we decided to foster this cute little white pup that was making its journey all the way across the world from South Korea to Portland. We foster-failed and ended up adopting her.

We learned about Kimchi’s story from Wildhearts Rescue, how she was found as a stray in the streets and brought to a shelter in South Korea where she gave birth to four puppies. Her puppies had gotten adopted, leaving her behind in the shelter for another three months. In March 2021 she found a foster home in South Korea before making the journey to Portland in April, then to our home through Wildhearts Rescue. This really made us sad, but we took comfort in the fact that we would be able to provide a happy and loving home for her.

As first-time dog owners, we had a lot to learn. Kimchi opened to us very quickly and by the second day was demanding belly rubs from us while snuggling on the couch. Her most favorite thing is going on walks, runs, and hikes. She has hiked at various spots ranging from the Oregon coast to the Redwood forests of California. She really keeps us on our toes and forces us to take a break from our work—which seems to have no end while working from home—and enjoy life.

Adding Kimchi into our life has really made our family whole. Her grins when she’s happy, and the puppy-dog eyes when she knows she’s been naughty, and her side-eyes when we ask her to pose for photographs, just bring a smile to our faces. Although she feels that she was rescued, it is she who rescued us from our work-from-home lives and taught us to appreciate the sounds, sights, and smells of nature. We love her beyond words can describe and can’t wait to take her on more adventures around the country.

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 Aparna won Wildhearts Rescue in Portland, Oregon a 2021 Love Stories award.