Project Description

Time-Strapped Future Teacher Commits to a Puppy

Careful decision-making pays off for new best friends

Mollie Grady and Baylee

Mollie & Baylee

“No, wait. I’m going back!”

That’s what Mollie Grady told her boyfriend, Jordan Fulp, when she turned around in the PetSmart® parking lot last May, went back into the store, and adopted her black Lab mix puppy, Baylee.

She’d gone back and forth on this decision a couple of times already, talking through the pros and cons with Jordan, and even calling her mom.

Just moments before, Mollie had picked up Baylee and held her for the first time. “I fell in love with her,” she said, “and I just couldn’t put her down.”

Despite the emotional connection, though, she resisted the urge to adopt the puppy. But she only made it as far as the parking lot. “I’m really happy I turned around and went back in and got her,” she said.

Rethinking her decision gave Mollie her new best friend.

Why her decision was a struggle
Mollie just started her senior year at East Carolina University, in Greenville, North Carolina, where she’s studying to become an elementary school teacher. She’ll be student-teaching early next year, and she knew her free time would be extremely limited. She was worried she’d be too busy to give a new puppy the attention she needs.

Mollie had been a foster parent to 2 rescue puppies the previous fall. “It was intense. I’d just get one lying down,” she said, “and the other would run off to another part of the house.”

“Having those 2 puppies  — along with a full course load — made me realize the time commitment required to take care of them,” she said.

On the other hand, though, she thought if she didn’t adopt now, with the summer ahead of her, she might never have time to fully train and bond with a new puppy.

Another concern was that Baylee had been found abandoned by the side of the road. She was a total unknown. What if she’d experienced some type of trauma that would affect her personality?

But Baylee quickly allayed any concerns.

Friendly puppy learns fast, keeps busy
“She is just ‘Miss Personality,’” said Mollie. “She’s very social and very friendly. She loves being with people, and she’s not afraid of anything or anyone.”

“She’s fast and strong, and she loves to play,” Mollie said. Baylee’s favorite activity is taking a walk across campus with Mollie and interacting with everyone. She also enjoys roughhousing with Jordan.

Mollie was glad to see that Baylee can also entertain herself for hours. “So now I know if I have to leave her in her kennel while I go teach, she’ll be OK with that.”

Baylee’s also very smart, and has been a quick learner. Mollie and Jordan taught her to sit, lie down and speak, using food as her reward. “So now,” said Mollie, “whenever we get the food bag out, she immediately does all 3 tricks in one quick motion to get her food.”

Baylee offers security and friendship
“I really enjoy her when I’m home by myself,” Mollie said. “She gives me a sense of security.”

But the best part of having her new pet, she said, “is just having a new best friend who’s always there.”

“I never really liked when people would say their dog was their best friend,” she said. “Until I got Baylee, and now, she’s my best friend.

“Even if I come back from a long class or a hard test, she’s always ready to go, ready to play,” Mollie said.

“She’s just like a little ray of sunshine.”


PetSmart Charities Attracts Millions With Pet Adoption Stories


Project Description:

Three million visitors a year. That’s how many people came to PetSmart Charities’ website to read stories like this one about people and their newly adopted pets. I was fortunate to have written a number of these stories over a two-year period. I interviewed recent pet-adopters from across the U.S. and Canada, then created personal stories about their experiences. The strong emotional connection people have with their pets made each one compelling and unique. The response to these stories also showed me the power of a well-conceived brand identity supported with a vigorous content marketing and social media program.

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Communications Strategy & Business Writing

Disclaimer regarding this work sample:
This sample was adapted for use on this website from the original client work I created. It is included to demonstrate writing, strategic planning or other communication skills, and is not an official publication of the client company. The sample relates facts and activities as they were at the time this project was done, not current client activities. Use of the client company’s name and logo is for identification purposes only, and does not constitute an endorsement by the client – either expressed or implied – of Bart Butler, Bart Butler Communications or this sample.

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