Adopted Pets Leave Paw Print on Nicholas Sparks’s Heart

Friday, October 17, 2014

Nicholas Sparks with dogsPet adoption has long been a passion of mine, as I had many adopted dogs while I was growing up. My family taught me at a young age that pet adoption is an incredible opportunity to find a lifelong companion. We have 3 adopted dogs at home — Susie, Boomer and Bo, who are all from local shelters.

Susie is a Shih Tzu mix who is incredibly sweet. A much-loved family member for her unique, lovable quirks, she is cross-eyed, snorts, snores and even purrs like a cat. I think Susie is the definition of a low-maintenance dog and napping is her favorite hobby. She also has an unlikely namesake — Sue, the T-rex dinosaur in the Chicago Museum of Natural History.

Boomer is a golden retriever who had a tough start but is now healthy and active. Before we adopted him, Boomer had terrible heartworms and was fighting for his life. Once he came home with us, his heartworm disease was treated and Boomer found his calling in the water — he loves to dive and take dips in the pool.

A mixed breed, Bo is a happy-go-lucky pup who never has a bad day. Out of all of his 2-legged friends, Bo has bonded most with our third son, Landon. You’ll find him curled up next to Landon every night.

As you can see, we love dogs and all animals. Our adopted pets have improved our lives as we’ve saved theirs. If you’ve been thinking about adding a pet to your family, please consider saving a life by adopting a cat or a dog!


Rhonda Sickles

Mr. Sparks I very glad to see that you support four legged family members. Where to start with my four legged son. Well my Son is the reason we adopted Jake in the first place, we were at a family outing with the company I work with, we had moved out of my parents house a few months prier and Dylan (my two legged son) had been asking and asking for a dog, we have always had a dog as long as I could remember, I told him right now we could not afford a dog but as soon as we could we would get one. Well anyway so we were at the company outing ( a baseball game) we happed to set next to my boss, we were having a good time, my boss mentioned something to my son about how good of an employee I was ( not to toot my horn but its part of the story ) and my son looked him right in the eye and said well them you should give her a raise ( he was eight) my boss said well I will just have to do that then, so with out missing a beat he turned to me and said NOW we can get a dog!!! Well my boss kept his word and on Friday we were at the SPCA how could I not get my son a dog when he was the reason I got my first raise. Ok back to Jake I had always wanted a German shepherd so I called the SPCA to see it they had a German shepherd and was told yes, I wanted to get a dog that was at least a year old, well I miss read the paper and got a 17 week old puppy instead, once we saw him there was no way I could so no to that face. The SPCA did not know a whole lot about Jake as the person that brought him In was not the original owner, Jake jus happed to wounded onto his farm, the farmer would have kept him had it not been for the fact that his other dogs would not let him eat and was quite mean to him. So we took him home that night and brought him to the vet the next day to have him checked out and it was there that I was told there was not a lick of shepherd in him… it did not ever matter to me by this time I was much in love with Jake nothing they told me would have mattered. We took him to meet my parents and this is when we found out he was petrified of men. My farther worked with Jake for about a month or so until he trusted men again, now when we go to visit my parents he gets so excited when we get close to there house, he does great with other men as well. We can only assume that Jake was abused as he is also very much a afraid of the bathroom and water (I will not type what I think may have happened to him as it hurts me to evern think about it ) Jake has not done anything heroic or great, he is just who he is, but I tell you he was brought so much joy into my sons and mines life I could not imagine how the last 13 years would have been with out him, Jake is still alive and doing ok for an old man. Even if Jake is the dog you choose I am just happy to share with you Jake’s story.

thank you for taking to time to read Jake's story

Rhonda Sickles


Hi Rhonda, this is a wonderful story, but please make sure you submit it through our Share Your Story feature to officially enter the contest.

Annie Wilson

Oh, I hope I can get my story about my Heidi sent in before deadline. Been wanting to tell her story for a long time as it is includes an adopted child and Heidi and I are slowing down a bit and I don't know how to put my feelings on paper but to have one of my favorite writers to give us a chance to honor the pets who have touched us and those around us so deeply is exciting. Hope to read lots of stories about these beautiful creatures. Thanks Nicholas!

alexandria taylor

I am having trouble with he state region and adoption region it is not pulling the menu down.


Hi Alexandria, I'm sorry to hear you're having trouble. Please send your story, photos and contact information to info[at]petsmartcharities[dot]org, and we'll post the story for you. 


* = required fields

Related Stories

February 26, 2014
Read why Josh Duhamel's production company, Dakotakid Media, is bringing to life the Rescue Waggin’ journey, from start to finish
September 12, 2012
My experience working at PetSmart Charities has motivated me to pledge to adopt my next pet. The stories I’ve heard, and the experiences I’ve had, have really had an impact...
December 31, 2014
Ideas for finding a mate who loves pets
October 27, 2013
Best Friends Animal Society study shows people still believe myths