A Tail of Instant Love | Nova’s Adoption Story

Novas TOH


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For this Tail of Hope, we had the opportunity to speak with Nova’s mom, Kristi, to learn about her and her family’s story with Nova and how she joined their family at the perfect time.


From the Bluegrass State to the Prairie State

Prior to her experience at Hopeful Tails, Nova was born just four months before she was adopted in July of 2022. Like many of the dogs the rescue receives, Nova came from Kentucky and traveled hundreds of miles to Joliet, Illinois. The journey here may not have been easy, but it sure was worth it, as the shepherd-lab mix would soon meet her soulmate, Kristi, at one of our open viewings. 


Looking to Add a New Member to the Family

Around the time of Nova’s adoption, Kristi had moved in with her fiancé who already had two older dogs in the home. Kristi had always been an avid dog lover, and her fiancé’s daughter suggested they check out Hopeful Tails Animal Rescue.

Kristi is a racer at the Grundy County Speedway, and she talked about an instance where her race got cancelled, so she thought that was the perfect opportunity to visit Hopeful Tails for an open viewing. Her and the family met a variety of dogs at the open viewing, but did not fall in love with them right away. Then, Nova was brought out, and it was an immediate connection between her and Kristi.

“I don’t know what it is about this dog,” Kristi described. “I don’t know if you believe in soul dogs or trauma-bound dogs…I immediately just fell for her, and of course my fiancé did too.”

Nova stole their hearts right away, but Kristi wanted to make sure she got along well with their other dogs before making any final decisions. Their two dogs, Happy and Tank met Nova, and they all got along wonderfully, with Kristi saying, “Everybody loved everybody.”


Fitting in Just Right at the Right Time

“She immediately cuddled up to Happy,” Kristi noted about bringing Nova home for the first time. “It was a very easy transition.”

Happy takes on a very maternal role as a dog according to Kristi, so with the introduction of a puppy to the home, it was a smooth and sweet process. They’ve learned that while Nova is rather skittish around new people, she warms up to dogs much faster. Kristi compares Nova to her fiancé, describing how they both are introverts and love to stay indoors with one another.

Additionally, when Nova was adopted, Kristi and her family were going through a lot of changes and stressful situations. Bringing in a sweet and precious puppy into their home at this time made the entire family foundation even stronger. It was the perfect timing for Nova to join the family and provide love when Kristi and her family needed it the most.


Being Different and Goofy in All the Right Ways

“I kind of like that she’s a little different to be honest,” Kristi stated. “I think it makes me want to love her more because I can’t just berate her with my undying love. She makes you work for it.”

Kristi admires Nova for her uniqueness and the fact that she almost “plays hard to get” with affection. She also described another quirk to Nova, and despite being introverted, she’s got a big mouth with a lot to say.

“She’s talkative,” Kristi pointed out. “Nova will talk back, in a cute, puppy way.”

When asked about Nova’s life now and how it’s different from when they first adopted her, Kristi touched on the fact that she’s a lot more relaxed now. That of course, comes with the help of Kristi and her family, by creating “safe spaces” for Nova that make her feel more comfortable.

Aside from relaxing, Nova loves to play all day with her inside and outside toys, aggravate her siblings every so often (like a typical younger sibling would) and is described to be a “goofball”.


Advice For People Considering Adoption

Two of the key themes Kristi emphasized from their journey with Nova was patience and understanding.

“Be patient and be understanding,” Kristi prioritized. “They’re young, they’re scared, it’s all new for them…I’m really glad that we got Nova because of her being afraid of new people. I don’t know how many people would have been patient enough to learn what it is, I feel like they would have just gotten rid of her.”

Kristi and her family had so much love to give to Nova, and while it’s not always easy, they know it’s all worth it for their sweet pup. At the end of the day, no matter how tough or stressful situations get, they know that Nova will always be by their side, supporting them every step of the way.

If you are interested in adopting a Hopeful Tails dog, please visit our adoption page for more information or email hopefultailsadoptions@outlook.com.