Adopted Dog Gives Pet Mom the Confidence to Overcome her Anxiety

Together, Minami and Alyssa have given each other reassurance and support to step outside of their anxiety and live life fully.

Alyssa + Minami

Alyssa could only imagine a world in which she did things by herself, like leave the house or walk around the block. But adopting a dog named Minami gave her a walking partner, a therapeutic helper, and a best friend to help Alyssa surpass her fears.

"Because of Minami, I have made a new group of friends through the rescue, have lessened my massive anxiety, and have pushed myself to places I never knew I’d be able to go."

May 26, 2021, became the best day of my life thus far because it is the day that I met my absolute best friend: Minami. Minami doesn’t even know that while I may have changed his life for the better, he is really the one who really changed my life.

Before Minami, I had only envisioned a life where I felt confident enough to leave my house on my own. While that may sound silly to some, I had spent most of my life harboring a paralyzing fear of doing things by myself. Simple things such as taking a walk around the block by myself would fill me with massive anxiety and be impossible for me. I constantly relied on other people to do things with, which meant most of my days were spent at home, missing life. I was scared to leave my own house by myself at 27 years old. Year after year I would make resolutions that I would work on being not so codependent on my family or my fiancé but would fall into the same comfortable, yet toxic routines and patterns. Waiting.

Along came Minami, my 3-year-old rescue beagle, who has completely turned my life around and has made me the confident person I have always wanted to be. Since getting him in May, I have acquired a newfound responsibility and have found someone who now relied on me 24/7, as I am his primary caregiver. 

Minami was found in an abandoned shelter in Busan, Korea, and came to me with a lot of anxiety of his own. I almost feel as though we were meant to find one another to help make each other more confident. Minami has become my absolute partner in crime, and we spent this past summer building each other’s confidence and going on new first-time adventures together. While these adventures may seem like simple everyday tasks to most people, they are big for us. We take long walks twice a day together (sunshine or rain), make Dunkin’ runs together, enjoy sunsets at the park, and even have super fun car rides.

With Minami, I never feel alone. I know I always have someone waiting for me when I get home from work, someone to lie and watch TV with, and someone to go do all those outdoor adventures I have always so badly wanted to do independently. I feel so blessed to have him in my life and will do everything possible to make his time on earth the best it can be. He is the greatest dog in the whole world, the best snuggle buddy, and my forever best friend. Because of him, I have made a new group of friends through the rescue, have lessened my massive anxiety, and have pushed myself to places I never knew I’d be able to go. I am so grateful to Korean K9 Rescue every day for allowing me to love Minami and give him a forever home.

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 Alyssa won Korean K9 Rescue in Long Island City, New York a 2021 Love Stories award.