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Love From A Dog Named Calli

Sydney was attending college at the University of Kansas back in 2015 and was feeling overwhelmed by her course load. She opted to get her degree in three years instead of four and the pressure was really taking a toll on her mental health. As many college students do, she was struggling to feel like her life had purpose and what direction she wanted to take in life. She started to search for something to distract her from where she was mentally and take care of something other than herself.

The first logical step was to go out and buy a bunch of plants! Unfortunately, it turned out Sydney didn’t have much of a green thumb and all the plants quickly withered away. Still feeling like there was a hole in her caretaker-seeking heart, Sydney began searching the Lawrence Humane website and constantly showing pictures of all the adorable dogs available to her boyfriend. After the plant ordeal, the nagging questions pestered her mind – what if the responsibility of a dog was too much to handle? Would it make her feel worse if she felt that she was not only failing herself but this dog as well? The doubt kept her from heading to the shelter and adopting a pet.

On a sunny summer afternoon while driving around town, her boyfriend who was growing tired of hearing about all these dogs, turned the car around and headed toward the shelter. “That’s it, Sydney! We’re going to go find you a dog!” They walked up and down all the kennels when she locked eyes with a beautiful pup named Michelle. At the time of adoption, Michelle was underweight and was growing anxious from being at the shelter for awhile. Sydney said Michelle stared into her soul with the kindest dog eyes she had ever seen and knew with every ounce of her being that Michelle was the pup for her! Sydney took her home and immediately bonded with this sweet black and white dog she renamed Calli. 

The pair were inseparable from that day forward. 

The day after Sydney graduated from college, she and Calli drove for eight days straight from Kansas to Alaska where she planned to reside for awhile. The dynamic duo learned to hike, camp, and fish together. They even saw their first marine life – whales, seals, sea lions, and otters. Calli was the proudest dog in all of Alaska, and would hold her head high when they walked down the street. Tourists felt the joy Calli emitted too – they always asked to pet her! Sydney and Calli were the best of friends, adventuring in the great Alaskan terrain for over 3 years! 

The day after Sydney graduated from college, she and Calli drove for eight days straight from Kansas to Alaska where she planned to reside for awhile. The dynamic duo learned to hike, camp, and fish together. They even saw their first marine life – whales, seals, sea lions, and otters. Calli was the proudest dog in all of Alaska, and would hold her head high when they walked down the street. Tourists felt the joy Calli emitted too – they always asked to pet her! Sydney and Calli were the best of friends, adventuring in the great Alaskan terrain for over 3 years! 

While in Alaska, Sydney got incredibly sick and was diagnosed with the early stages of cancer. Wanting to be closer to home for her treatment, Sydney and Calli trekked back to Kansas. After every doctor’s appointment, Calli laid in Sydney’s lap and comforted her. Calli reminded her to stay strong and keep fighting.  

In January of 2020, Sydney got the all-clear from her cancer, and as amazing as this was, Sydney considers it to be the hardest day of her life. The day she received the news from her doctors happened to be the same day she discovered that Calli had cancer. At that point in time, the vets gave Calli two months to live. 

 “You see, I know that she took my cancer from me. It’s the type of thing my Calli-alli would do.” said Sydney. “She’s pulled me out of the deepest depressions of my life. She’s pulled me up 10,000-foot mountains in the snow because she knew I needed to get outside. She’s warned me of coyotes and moose and bear and made sure I never left the house alone. She’s the protector I didn’t know I needed. And now I get to be hers. Her last act is to save me from something I didn’t even know I had lurking within me. And she’s doing a great job.”

 But Calli didn’t give up so easy – she has had 2 surgeries and continues to live life so fully that you wouldn’t even know she’s been battling cancer. A year after being diagnosed, Callie continues to thrive even in her older age. Sydney and her partner bought a house a few months ago in the midst of the pandemic with a big backyard for Calli to enjoy. Since the move, Calli has even befriended a stray cat that the couple couldn’t resist but to keep. To top it all off, Calli is now helping them foster cats through a local rescue in Wichita where she’s been helping to socialize cats to larger dogs! 

“Without her, much of my life wouldn’t have the magic it does now, and I certainly wouldn’t have become the person I am today.” said Sydney. “Without her I’m not sure I’d be alive. So thank you to everyone that works at Lawrence Humane. You saved 2 lives the day you took in Calli.”

Most recent Sydney + Calli Update

Calli recently celebrated her “Gotcha Day”. Sydney posted these sweet photos on her Instagram stories to celebrate the past 6 years of unwavering love, friendship and all the adventures they’ve had together. 

Did you adopt your pet from Lawrence Humane?

We are looking for great adoption stories like Sydney’s to submit to PetCo Love! These submissions could help us win a HUGE grant award and continue pursuing our lifesaving mission right here in Douglas County. We are happy to work with you to make your story the best it can be but first we need to know a little bit more about you and your beloved pet.

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