Rags to Riches

10-16 Blog

If you follow my Instagram account, you probably already know how much I love my 32-pound mutt. If you don’t follow me, then what are waiting for?!

Anyways, I wanted to take a moment to share Jackson’s full story with you. Many of you have heard bits and pieces, but his incredible story is one that needs to be told. So, get ready to cry… no, I’m totally kidding. But his story is super cute.



In late January of 2017, this pup was dropped off in the cold weather. We are no confident in how long he survived on his own, but by the time he was found, you could see his ribs.

A woman found him abandoned on top of a coal mine. If you know about weather in Eastern Kentucky, you know that the months of January and February are absolutely frigid. Honestly, I am not sure how he lasted in the cold for as long as he did.

One thing I do know for certain is that he had a difficult life before he was rescued. Jackson presents of issues that could be associated with previous abuse.



When this photo was taken, Jackson had been living with me for nearly a week. He was taken care of, he had a warm bed to sleep in, he received a lot of love, and he never had to worry about when he would get his next meal. However, you can tell by the look on his face that he was still completely terrified.

I would love to write this and tell you that Jackson warmed up to me immediately, but that would be a lie. Actually, it took a couple of weeks before he began to feel more comfortable with me.

As I mentioned, his behavior has indicated signs of abuse. When I first adopted him, he would growl at any man that came near him. Thus, causing me to believe that he was abused by a man at some point.

Even today, if there are too many people surrounding him, he becomes defensive and growls. It has been a long process, but he’s getting better at trusting the people I bring around him.

My whole point from this portion of the story is that although the adoption process was easy – I adopted him within less than one week – the adjustment process was anything but easy. Those first couple of weeks were full of nervous shaking, hunger strikes, and growling at the people in my life. But oh my, was it worth it!



By the time Jackson and I took this photo, all of his fear regarding my friends and I had disappeared. He and I were truly discovering companionship.

We spent morning runs at a trail on campus, we went on hiking trips (as pictured here), we learned new tricks, and of course, we played with plenty of toys at home. Jackson’s personality had truly become more vibrant and he was beginning to reach his full potential as a loveable, adventurous dog.

While Jackson was experiencing a positive change, I was too. I had adopted Jackson because I was seeking companionship. Why not adopt a dog? After all, they do say that dogs are man’s best friend. It seemed like the perfect idea! And I was right.

Jackson had already begun to help me feel better on days that were tough, he made me smile even if I wanted to cry, and he always sits next to me if he knows that I’m feeling down. When this companionship began to form, I truly had to ask the question: Who rescued who?



This photo was taken on the day that Jackson and I moved into a new apartment. This was also taken just weeks before I registered him as my Emotional Support Animal (ESA).

As I mentioned, Jackson had already helped me cope with my problems tremendously. When I moved into my new apartment complex, I discovered that you could only have a pet if they were an ESA. Due to this, I thought that it would be worth it to pay my doctor a visit. After doing this, Jackson was officially approved as my ESA and was allowed to live in my apartment.

At the time, registering him as an ESA seemed superficial at best. Sure, he’d helped me, but I didn’t consider how much at that point.

Only recently have I truly considered just how helpful this small dog has been to me. I have endured a lot over the months that Jackson has been with me, and I know in my heart and in my mind that he has helped me handle it all. While I hadn’t given registering him as an ESA much thought, it is apparent to me now that he truly does help me emotionally. He helps me battle anxious moments, sad moments, and everything in between.

If you battle anxiety, depression, or anything else, I would highly recommend finding an ESA. They are very, very helpful! However, make sure that you do not get them confused with a Service Animal. ESA’s do not technically provide a service as they have not received training. ESA’s are allowed to live with you, even in a non-pet-friendly location, according to the Fair Housing Act.

Present Day


Today, Jackson and I are still going adventures and living our best lives. Actually, he will be traveling to Niagara Falls with my family and I this weekend.

This dog has added so much to my life, and I want to make sure that he lives the best possible life. He’ll only be in my life for a small portion of it, but I am his entire life.

Although he started literally from the bottom – freezing and alone at a coal mine – I will make sure that the remainder of his life is nothing short of wonder{full}.

As always, message me the adorable story about your pet! I would love to share your story on #WhyAdoptWednesday.

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