Happy Tail: A family makes a perfect match


When Jessica Rysiewski’s fiancé, Kevin, returned from a deployment in Afghanistan, he wanted a dog to help with his post-traumatic stress. Jessica has a background in dog training and suggested that rather than waiting for a dog through an organization dedicated to training PTSD dogs, they should adopt one from a shelter or rescue.

Storm settles in for a nap.

Storm settles in for a nap.

She began looking on Petfinder. “I was searching every day for months and kept seeing Storm,” she says. “She stood out to me.” Making Miracles Animal Rescue in Utica, Michigan, had listed the dog on the site. When Jessica told Kevin about Storm, he dampened her enthusiasm because he was holding out for a male dog.

Then one fateful day, as Jessica calls it, her fiancé and daughter, Allison, were away from home, and she went shopping and happened upon a pet adoption meet-and-greet. Making Miracles Animal Rescue had pets at the event.

“As I got out of my car,” she says, “I spotted a familiar fuzzy face outside near the doors, lying patiently next to a volunteer. Storm was as cool as ice, watching people and dogs alike walk in and out of the store.”

Jessica took a picture of the dog and emailed it to Kevin and went on her way.

“The following Saturday morning, the three of us were relaxing on the couch when I brought up Storm,” she says. “Kevin was passive about her, but eventually gave in to my logic that the worst that could happen is he wouldn’t like her and we could continue our search. “

He was willing to meet her, so they climbed in the car and set off. Once Kevin met Storm, it didn’t take long for her to win his heart. Jessica filled out the application to adopt her.

This past summer, Storm’s importance in the family was emphasized when she escorted Jessica (along with Jessica’s dad) down the aisle at the couple’s wedding. Two perfect matches.