Our Pet Plus™ cycles project was born out of our team’s love of pets and the joy they bring to us each day. Over the next few months, we’ll be posting the stories of the pets who inspired the idea. Today, we’ll meet Winnie, who has one of the most interesting stories we’ve heard yet.

Like many other pet owners, Amanda Kopetsky was looking for the perfect addition to her family. After a few attempts at adoption and unfortunately not acting quickly enough, Amanda, who works in HR at Alliance Laundry Systems, began to get frustrated. Then she saw a picture of Winnie. She was determined that this pup would not get away. It turns out though, Amanda wasn’t the only one with determination. Winnie the ‘boxcar pup’ and Amanda didn’t know it, but they were meant to be together.

Amanda and her husband successfully adopted Winnie from Frosty’s Foster Animal Rescue, and when they took Winnie in for one of her first vet checkups, they found out Winnie wasn’t originally supposed to be in the group of dogs being rescued from Alabama. According to the vet tech, Winnie mysteriously made her way into the transport. When the crew arrived in Wisconsin, there she was!

Winnie is a 4-year-old mixed breed with primary breeds being blue heeler, lab and husky, but Amanda says Winnie has more the personality of a lab than a blue heeler – she’s really calm.

The transition was a bit tough on Amanda and her husband after bringing Winnie home, she said. It was even more difficult than a normal rescue adoption because Amanda knew nothing about Winnie’s past.

“Winnie was so scared when we first rescued her,” Amanda said. “It was heartbreaking.”

With each day that passed though, they began to trust each other and learn each other’s personalities. Winnie now goes to doggy day care to curb her boredom and socialize with other dogs. Winnie’s a big digger and loves to dig up Amanda’s garden. Her husband is even considering constructing Winnie her own ‘garden’ that she can dig until her heart’s content.

“She has gained so much confidence and has become such a goofy, sweet girl,” Amanda said. “We feel so lucky that she found us.”

Amanda always knew she wanted a rescue dog and feels so lucky to have found her perfect match. Although there’s a lot of happiness and reward to rescuing a dog, Amanda cautions everyone to take adoption seriously before making the commitment, though.

“It’s a big commitment; it’s a lot of time and effort, especially with a rescue, but if you can give the dog what it needs, the unconditional love and joy that comes with is the best.”