Dear Kurtis,

Dear Kurtis,


Today’s blog was supposed to be about Elvis and his trip to Brea Olinda High School but I ended up writing a letter to Kurtis instead…

Dear Kurtis,

Kurtis, 4 months ago you came into my life and completely turned it upside down. I always knew I had a big heart but I didn’t know how strong it was until you showed up. I remember the first day I met you. It took me about 10 seconds to decide I was going to foster you. Even though I had no idea HOW to take care of you I knew I had to.

I remember the weekend you got sick for the 2nd time.  It was on a holiday weekend and all the vets were closed. You were burning up like crazy and your infection had spread all the way to your legs and under your belly. You couldn’t move. I had to put your bowl to your face. I had to physically move you. All you could do was cry through the night. dk_bl_8Instead of getting better you just kept getting worse and you kept crying louder. By the 3rd night, I had not slept a wink in 3 days, it was 3am and you were crying so loud. I had enough. I got out of bed and was ready to put you in the laundry room until it was time to go to the vet. As I opened your crate I could hear my inner voice talking to me saying, “This is EXACTLY what you signed up for. YOU decided to foster this dog and now because YOU can’t sleep, you’re gonna put him in another room because YOU’RE uncomfortable? He’s not crying because he wants something, he’s crying because he’s sick. Suck it up, dude. Handle your responsibility.” At that moment, I put my hand on your back and you stopped crying. I woke up a few hours later, on the floor, with my hand in your crate. All you wanted was company and all I wanted was sleep. I apologize for being an asshole that night.

The day I dropped you off at the vet, I just remember bracing myself for the worst. You were but 4 months old and honestly, how much more could you take? And even though the crying had stopped in my house, I still couldn’t sleep because I would stay up wondering what was going on with you. I kept wondering if dropping you off at the vet was going to be the last time I saw you. I always live by the idea to take things one day at a time but this was hard to do. I wanted nothing more than to have you back at my house crying.

dk_bl_7After almost 2 weeks of having a high fever and being at the vet, you started to get better, better enough that the vets asked me to continue your treatment at my house so you could get that extra bit of love with your medical treatment. The next two months consisted of meds, baths, and special food. You were just about completely bald but you were happy! Your fever was down and slowly but surely your hair started to grow back. You were getting healthier as each day passed. The better you got the sadder I got because I knew we were getting closer to you finding your forever home.

After FINALLY getting a clean bill of health, it was time to find you a home. In my eyes, nobody was good enough for you but that was just the selfish part of me. We did multiple meet and greets and everyone just loved you. Every family we met was completely worthy of having you in their home but at the end of the day, only one family could have you.  And you’re in the car with them now as I write this, on your way to Arizona.  I know you love them, too. You ran to them when you saw them. In fact, you got super excited when they pulled into the parking lot this morning. I know I made the right decision with this family.

And as silly as this is that I’m writing you a letter you’ll never be able to read, I just want you to know that me not dk_bl_2adopting you had nothing to do with the fact that I didn’t want to or that I didn’t love you.  My home was just a place for you to rehab and you’ve given me the necessary experience for the next dog that comes in here to be fostered. Penny, Elvis and myself all miss you and you’ve only been gone a few hours. In fact, when I got home, Penny and Elvis were looking for you. So please know that my decision not to keep you was the right thing to do. I promise your new family will love you like I did and will give you everything you deserve. And I promise that the next foster that comes in here I will take care of the same way I did with you and I will find him the perfect home like I did with you.  Adopting you out enables Priceless Pets to save more animals and we will never forget you. Another dog will fill your empty crate soon but the place you took in my heart will never be filled because you took it with you to Arizona. My eyes are swollen and watering as I write this but I just want you to know I love you, Baby K, but another dog will soon need my help and I have you to thank for teaching me how to do that.

Love always,

John, Penny & Elvis



  1. Your a strong person… After I got off work today my husband told me Kurtis was gone and immediately I felt so sad.. I know it’s for the best but it still is hard to know he’s so far away! So the happy part is I started following his new parents!! And I get it .. You all picked the perfect people! It’s obvious from their ig that they love their pets like children, baby K is going to live a wonderful happy life! Although he will never forget the lovely man who took him .. You Penny and Elvis will always be Kurtis first loves:)

  2. Most beautiful letter I’ve ever read. Totally crying my eyes out. Good luck Baby K. The world loves you!

  3. It’s people like you that remind me that this world is good.

  4. Laurie hinojosa : April 18, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    This letter you wrote to baby K makes my heart ache for you. I know the decision you made to not adopt him came with a heavy heart. However you are meant to be a foster that is your calling so you did what needed to be done you nursed him back to health and found him the best parents! So be proud of yourself and know you are an amazing person! !

  5. It is hard to let him go, but you did the right thing. Thanx for taking care of him. I love that you have found your true calling.

  6. My heart is melting. I’ve been following baby K since day one and your journey along with his has been so heart warming and I am just in awe how some TLC could change a person and an animals life. I have a few dogs myself (all adopted) and you can just see how an animal is feeling. Happy sad sick etc etc. it’s like having a child almost. Sooooo happy for baby K and his new home, sucks that you’re gonna miss him but at least you found him a wonderful home! Hang in there! Xoxoxoz

  7. This is such a cool letter! Your are an amazing person with a big heart. Kurtis knows how much you guys loved him, and because of how you loved him he’s going to fill his new family with so much love and make their lives complete. You guys did that for him. Good job john! Can’t wait to meet your new foster

  8. Great job taking care of Kurtis. We followed his story from day one and yes, you learned how to foster a dog but Kurtis learned what love is. Very well written. You are a good man.

  9. John, I love your website. Before your website, I was made aware of the fostering of Kurtis through my niece Stephanie. This letter brings bittersweet tears to the ending. You are doing such a beautiful thing with these dogs. I hope you are able to continue and I hope this opens a great opportunity for you and your future. Bless you!!!! (also blessings to Penny Lane and Elvis).

  10. Fabiola brewster : April 18, 2014 at 8:04 pm

    May I suggest a “tear-jerker” disclaimer…..I’m sitting here during the period break at the hockey game bawling my eyes out!!! Just kidding, your letter is just beautiful and I am so happy for Kurtis. I’ll miss him on the Sunday hikes though….;( And all your pics of him being silly….;(

  11. Aimee Kaufmann : April 18, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    Your amazing person I couldn’t tell you enough.

  12. Wonderfully written, your letter made me cry. I never got to meet Kurtis in person but I donated money when he needed for surgery and I prayed for his recovery. Such a cutie!! I wish he would have stayed local since he’s become such a hero lol but I am happy Priceless Pets can continue to rescue more dogs out there like Kurtis. You’re a wonderful person John, and I thank you for all you did for Kurtis and what you do for all other fosters. <3

  13. Thank you for sharing your journey… So inspiring… Following this story for months and contributing many prayers has sparked a true interest in me (and I am sure others) to foster… My work schedule does not allow the time for now, but I now have a clear goal to foster in the future. THANK YOU for all that you do… And thank you for taking the time to share your story. You have touched so many hearts.

  14. Veronica Anania : April 18, 2014 at 10:34 pm

    I know Kurtis will always think of you and love you for saving him. You are an amazing person & I’m sobbing right now! 🙁 you are the only person that knows him best & he won’t ever forget you…. I hope you get to visit him..or he comes to visit you…. Until then I’m sure you’ll have a ton of photos 🙂 from his new family.
    Give Penny & Elvis lots of hugs & kisses ❤️

  15. Stephanie Gomez : April 18, 2014 at 10:55 pm

    omg..when i first started reading ur letter i wasn’t sure what was going on..i just happened to see a post on ur page that someone was talkin about a letter u wrote to baby K and they were crying..i was frantically searching for your blog so i can see what it was all about..i have soooo many tears running down my cheeks at this moment..but not of sadness, but of happiness..happiness that baby K found his forever home, happiness that you are strong enough to KNOW that u will be able to do good in another pups life..tears are bitter sweet, because of your words are so touching and inspiring..I’m sad that i won’t get to meet him in person, or see his adorable face all over facebook but sooo happy that he has his new family!

  16. mariah koland : April 18, 2014 at 11:03 pm

    It takes a special kind of person to foster. I could never do it, I’d want to keep them all. But I am beyond grateful for people like you in the world that give these wonderful pitbulls another chance. People have a bad taste in their mouths about this breed and it’s people like you who make them change their mind. I love kurtis and I’ve never met him. But just reading your stories and seeing your pictures made me fall in love with him. Thank you for all you did for him, he will never forget you john! Nor will any of us

  17. Dearest John, I have followed Kurtis’s story since the day Priceless pets rescued him. I met you at the pittie crew fundraiser at the pub. I just read your letter out loud and I want you to know that my boyfriend are are sitting here crying. You and your dogs are incredible. He was able to survive and become the lovable dog because of you and your pack. I will be forever grateful for all the hard work you’ve done. My heart and prayers go out to you because I know letting go of him must have been so hard. Thanks again for all the wonderful things you do and continue to do.

    Your fellow dog lover, Colleen

  18. Baby. K, Is a blessing in disguise, he has taught you so much more than you ever imagine. This is a story with a happy ending a good ending. thank you for being a great person to all these abandoned dogs keep up the good Work

  19. John your such an amazing soul. If it wasn’t for Kurtis, we wouldn’t have our Winnie. God bless you and your cause. We are getting more involved because of you, Kurtis, Penny, and Elvis and we would like to thank you for that. Kurtis you’ll be missed, your one special dog that’s for sure. Love you all

  20. I have the upmost respect for you. I could probably write a 5 page letter to you just expressing the deep admiration I have for you and people like you who can open their homes to fostering and saving a fur-baby. You are an incredible human being and I look forward to your next foster. I am also thankful his new parents are on IG so we can all stay up to date with his journey!!! Writing that letter to Kurtis was a bit of release, in your own form and although he won’t ever be able to read it…you have always expressed these very feelings to him through the care & love you provided him, so he is well aware of this beautiful message. You’re awesome!

    • Thank you, Lani. I thought it was gonna be easy to adopt him out until I actually had to do it but there’s already a new foster in here and Kurtis is in GREAT hands! Time to focus on Lucy! Thank you again for the kind words. 🙂

  21. Macie Mendoza : April 20, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    Oh man the tears…this was beautiful John.

  22. Wow John, what a beautiful post. I think Kleenex’s stock just went up a few cents, thanks to you! Kurtis stole my heart just from the short time I spent with him, so I can’t imagine what a hold he has on you. Thanks to Kurtis for bringing us to Priceless Pets…you are truly AMAZING people doing outstanding things. I know someday soon we will bring home a priceless pet of our own 🙂 Looking forward to following your next adventure with lucky Lucy!

  23. Tear jerker!! Such sweet words & perfectly written! He was a special dog & you did so much for him! You have such a kind heart!

  24. Daisy Campos : April 21, 2014 at 7:00 am

    Shouldn’t of read this at work because i am crying my eyes out! Thank you for all you do and for finding Kurtis the right home, and thank you for letting us be part of your journey not only with him but with all your future fosters.

  25. I just wanted to commend you on what you do. Your heart, strength and bravery are that like no others. These little ones you take in are amazing and you’ve given them another shot at life. I first started reading about you from Kurtis’ story, now several months later I just read this letter. Which is compelling and riveting. Both my babies are adopted and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Again thank you for all you do.


    Jaclyn on Instagram as Rubytuessday with Benny and the Jacks

  26. […] him will be coming back for the day. The puppy that escaped death twice and the dog that spawned my “Dear Kurtis” letter that became my staple closure letter for all my fosters that get adopted is making the trip […]

  27. What a wonderful thing you did for Kurtis and continue to do or others. Like you I took in a foster puppy that was badly infected with mange and had a bad skin infection. She is rehabilitated but unlike you I wasnt strong enough mentally to adopt her out. I had the same exact thoughts that you did. I didn’t think anyone could take care of her as best as I could. I had many families that wanted to adopt her but selfishly I could not let her go. She is now a part of our family and I wouldn’t change it for anything. I know that the next foster that comes along I will have to eventually part with as my pack is rather large and I am dreading that. I guess just like anything else you learn from your experiences. Thank you for sharing your story. ❤️

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