Why Adopting a Pet During Quarantine Was the Best Thing I Did for Myself, Though It Has Not Been Without Its Complications

With the world staying at home to stop the spread of coronavirus, there has been a lot of families and people who live alone who are choosing to adopt dogs and cats. And it’s been a great thing, not only for them and their adorable new pets but for the shelter, who for the first time in a long time, are seeing their cages completely empty.

I was one of those people who adopted a pet while in quarantine. However, quarantine wasn’t the only reason why I finally made the leap to adopt.

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Sure, being home all the time made it feel like it was the perfect time to adopt a trusty companion, but it’s something I have been looking into long before the world began suffering from a global pandemic. It just so happened that while staying at home, I got approved to become a dog mom for the first time.

I had pets growing up as a child, but owning your own dog as an adult is very different. And I knew that from the beginning.

However, the twist and turns mine and Jack Winston’s journey took in the last month have been ones I never thought I would need to prepare for.

Several weeks ago I learned that I was approved to adopt a pet from a local animal shelter. About three days after that I was sent a series of photos of about seven different puppies and was asked if any of them stood out to me.

And one doe-eyed, deep-chocolate colored fur baby caught my eye. I had planned on naming my dog Winston, but when I met Jack, I knew that’s who he was supposed to be even after I adopted him.

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Resting after my surgery!

A post shared by Jack Winston (@jackwinstonvallone) on

They told me he had a limp, noting that they didn’t think it was anything serious, and if I was okay with that. I said I have no problem with that and the very next day Jack was making himself at home in my new apartment.

And every single thing about Jack was and is perfect. His demeanor, his love of cuddling and giving kisses, even his stubbornness. All of it made him the perfect dog.

But two days after bringing Jack home, he had to go back to the local shelter for x-rays on the paw he that was bothering him. And that’s when we were hit with the news I did not see coming.

About 20 minutes after he was taken from my car, I received a phone call from the veterinarian that said his x-rays revealed his leg had been broken for quite some time. And because it had already healed incorrectly, the best plan of action would be amputation.

And I bawled like a baby. Not because I didn’t want a three-legged dog, but because I just felt so bad for Jack. Would he thrive on just three legs and what kind of life did he have before I adopted him? It all just hit me at once.

His life before me was something I didn’t really think about before I adopted him. Which is crazy I know, but I was just so excited to have him in my life.

After giving him a final kiss goodbye, I had to leave him at the spot I had just adopted him 48 earlier. But less than 24 hours later, I was called again and asked to pick him up.

And while he was out of it from the pain medication at first, once it started wearing off, Jack was Jack again. I was surprised, shocked, and most of all so happy that my big-eyed ball of cuddles seemed to be thriving.

Within a day of losing a limb, Jack was walking up and downstairs, trotting on walks, and still loved giving kisses.

His medication is causing his skin to become severely dry, which has resulted in sores on parts of his body. And although it hasn’t happened in a while, as his body was healing, he would let out these heartbreaking cries that left me feeling helpless.

Now we are preparing for him to be neutered.

As this month been difficult? Yes. But I wouldn’t change how Jack Winston came into my life for anything. And yes I would still recommend people adopt and not shop, I would do it again.

I considered myself the lucky one for having such an incredibly sweet and loving dog come into my life when he did. It quite literally changed my life since I adopted him. Things I never thought I would, things that would have at one point made me panic and grossed out, I don’t anymore.

It’s only been a month but I’ve grown and changed so much since Jack came into my life. And now my world revolves around him instead of myself.

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But I also can’t help thinking what Jack’s life would have been like if I hadn’t adopted him and he went to a home who thought having a three-legged dog was below them.

So while this story is meant to show you how my life has changed for the better since I adopted Jack, it’s also a real-life moment of how plans change and things happen. But with a good attitude and a clear heart, the craziest of journeys can be the most rewarding, even if they do feel impossible at the time.

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