Pets Saving People: Finding a New Part in Your Heart

PetSmart Charities pets saving people dog adoption story PeteSometimes you’re not the only vote when it comes time to adopt a dog into your home. In the case of Dottie Grantham of Morehead, Kentucky, she had two families—including five grandkids and three great-grandsons—with a vested interest in having just the right canine join her clan.


In May 2016, Dottie had lost her husband of 42 ½ years, Andy, due to a heart condition. When her 10 ½ year old boxer, Pibbs, needed to be put to sleep just two months later, it compounded the loneliness for her—and for her grandchildren, as well.


“I wanted a dog and knew I’d get one, but I didn’t think it would be this quick,” Grantham says. “My grandkids are usually up from Lexington every other weekend, and they went with me to look at dogs at PetSmart. We found one that everyone fell in love with. The whole family was there, and everybody had a hand in the decision. We looked at all the other dogs, and went right back to this one. It was unanimous!”


PetSmart Charities pets saving people dog adoption story Pete 2The lucky pooch was Harvey, a 14-pound Boston Terrier–Chihuahua mix just shy of five years old. He had been picked up on the streets but never claimed, then found his new home through the Lexington Humane Society’s adoption partner at PetSmart’s Every Day Adoption Center.  


“Honestly, I don’t understand why nobody came for him,” Grantham says. “He’s the best little guy, very cuddly, wants to be held all the time, and just wants attention. He’s housebroken, doesn’t bark, and plays with neighbor dogs and the kids—he’s well-mannered and just wonderful.”


There was one challenge, though: “My grandson, John Andrew, didn’t like the name Harvey, and he didn’t come to that name anyway,” says Grantham. “So he decided we should call him Pete.”


Why Pete? John Andrew, age seven, was having a hard time with the death of his beloved Pappa, with whom he was very close and did everything.  John remembered hearing Pappa tell stories of his own dad calling him “Pete” – a nickname -- when he was little, and he wanted to have his own name involved, too. Hence, Harvey became Pete Andrew.


PetSmart Charities pets saving people dog adoption story Pete 3Pete’s arrival is helping John and his four-year-old sister Bennett through their sadness. “We’re teaching him how to sit,” John says. “We’ve done it with a treat and without a treat.” Bennett is equally smitten with Pete, particularly when they go on walks around the yard or sleep with their heads side-by-side on the pillow—and she always includes him when she plays dolls.


When the grandkids aren’t around, Pete is Grantham’s constant companion, whether he’s tagging along through the house or snuggling up next to her when she crochets in the evening.


“When he came into the house, it was like he’d lived here forever,” Grantham says. “There’s no replacing a dog, each one finds a new part in your heart. It was hard at first because I felt like I was cheating on Pibbs, and then I thought, well, Pete’s got to have somebody and I’ve got to have somebody. Why not choose each other?”



Read More Pets Saving People Stories:


Glen and Blake


Bruce and Chica


Adam and Zephyr


Mis Kyrene and Tobi


Ed and Polly


Daisy – PetSmart Charities 7 millionth adoption


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