Amazing Award For Story Of A Girl And Her Adopted Dog

Jamie Merideth, and her story about her adopted dog, “Lester,” has resulted in an amazing award for the Santa Fe Animal Shelter and Humane Society. On Wednesday, the shelter let its Facebook followers know about the “just in” good news about the grand prize of $100,000:

We are all so blown away by our Grand Prize win from Petco Foundation‘s Holiday Wishes Campaign 2016.

What, you may wonder, did Merideth submit to win such an amazing prize? Hers was not a story of heroics or a jaw-dropping tale of life or death, but rather, a simple, but touching, story of a girl and her dog. A story about the joy they find in one another – a story about unconditional love and good triumphing over tragedy.

Merideth adopted Lester from the Santa Fe Animal Shelter & Humane Society. Lester had arrived to the shelter with a chain wrapped tightly around his neck, and a broken spirit. Whatever had transpired in his past left him with a lack of trust, and a heavy burden of fear. After months of patience and love from shelter staff and volunteers, Lester showed signs that he was ready for a home. Merideth stated, “He was ready for adoption. And me? I’d been waiting my whole life for him. ”

It took Lester some time to settle into his new home…shortly after his adoption he was sent into a fearful tailspin after Merideth dropped a piece of heavy camera equipment. Merideth explained how the sound sent “him into a panic,” – she stated:

as he dodged between my feet and down the stairs in just under a second. A moment before he sped out of sight, he paused and looked back at me as I stood frozen in the doorway. His big brown eyes wide with fear as I yelled for him to come back, but he was already running.

The days of fear and panic have passed – now Lester gets to enjoy being a dog, and a treasured friend to his person. Merideth and Lester enjoy time in the mountains – walking side-by-side on dusty pathways, surrounded by solitude, and beauty. Just a girl and her dog, taking in life, one step at a time.

She summed up her day-to-day joy now that Lester is part of her life:

These days when I stand in my open door, I’m greeted by extreme tail wags and sloppy, wet-nosed kisses. So much excitement fills the place that there’s barely enough room for the two of us. My heart is bursting with joy for the connection that we have formed.

Santa Fe Animal Shelter & Humane Society here.

Petco Foundation Holiday Wishes Campaign here.

Petco Foundation here.

Penny Eims

Penny is a freelance writer who provided content to her National Dog News column at for 8 years. She is a current contributor to Fido Friendly Magazine, as well as a newly formed website, Pet Rescue Report. Penny is married and she has two rescued German shepherds and two kids.


  1. Elaine Whinston says:

    Beautiful account of how powerful the human-canine bond is!

  2. Jill Clark says:

    What a great time I bet that’s what I want for my boys!!! Wasn’t that Ali McGraw in the photo??? No one mentioned her!!!!

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