Adopted Dogs Lead Pet Mom to a New Path of Recovery, and Inspire Her to Help Others

Thanks to Maggie and Marley, Tammy found a new direction in life—with pet adoption and holistic wellness at the heart.

Tammy + Maggie and Marley

From her healing journey to a life of wellness and inspiration, Tammy is making strides with the help of her adopted dogs, Maggie and Marley. Now she’s helping others find their own path to healing and is helping give foster pets a second chance.

"After all the hardships I’ve been through, it is with the love of Maggie and Marley that I became my own hero. "

I am living a grateful life since adopting Maggie and Marley from San Antonio Pets Alive! I’ve never really been sure who rescued who, to be honest. I’ve lived among violence most of my life. Having PTSD, I have experienced living in survival mode for years. I returned to San Antonio following a domestic violence divorce and the passing of my stepfather to care for my mother, who has dementia. I can’t imagine my life without Maggie and Marley. Adopting them was such a beautiful beginning of something much grander.


Because I have Lupus, I’ve overcome physical and internal complications. Maggie and Marley are an intricate part of my support system: with them, I feel safe and relaxed. The strength they give me inspires me to be the very best person I can be. Last year I was in a car accident while commuting to work. My injuries required me to have numerous procedures over six months on my spine and with the ongoing pandemic, daily tasks became difficult to do physically. Even so, with the girls’ loving kindness I felt empowered and inspired. I felt I could not only conquer the circumstances I found myself in, but could also come out the strongest I’ve ever been.

After all the hardships I’ve been through, it is with the love of Maggie and Marley that I became my own hero. The girls have indeed been invaluable in my emotional and physical recovery. There were days following the accident where I had difficulty with mobility, and they simply rested with me. I wanted to get up and be active so I did what I could, and I think the best part about encouragement from Maggie and Marley is the communication in their eyes and body language. They don’t care how much money I make or what mistakes I’ve made, but they are perceptive about me having Lupus and how pain affects me, and they do understand and support my body language and response to stress. I’m more in tune with myself than I’ve ever been, and it was through Maggie and Marley that I was able to experience a true state of being, something I had read about and had knowledge of but never quite experienced until finding them.

Through our connection, I found my path in advocacy and outreach and couldn’t be more certain and happy because of how I envision the impact the girls and I are going to make together! I am certified as a personal trainer and wellness coach and have a new exciting business. I’m coaching, mentoring, and empowering others. The bonus will be saving animals and fostering so San Antonio Pets Alive! has spaces to save even more. I want to bring people and animals together in ways that provide spaces to heal, teach, and grow through holistic wellness. I can’t speak enough about the importance of animal rescue and yes, technically I rescued Maggie and Marley, but they rescued me right back and I will live the rest of my life intentionally because of them.

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 Tammy won San Antonio Pets Alive! in San Antonio, Texas a 2021 Love Stories award.