Valentines Day Companion Animal Love Stories: The Plishka Family


Around Valentine’s Day, we’re all present to the love we have in our lives. We wanted to honor the loving relationships many of us have to our companion animals. The relationships we develop as we care for our companions is so special, and we wanted to share some local love stories of Clifton’s pets.

Sarah Plishka and Skylar:

Sarah Plishka’s adoption story began after her mother died. Their family had wanted to adopt a dog for a while, so in 2020 they began to submit applications. They were concerned that it might be too soon after losing their mom, and they wondered if it was the right thing to do.

Eleventh Hour Rescue reached out to tell them that while the dog they initially applied for was already going through the adoption process, they had a new rescue who just came in from an overcrowded shelter in Georgia whom they thought would be a good fit for the Plishka family. They almost got cold feet but the moment they met Skylar for the first time, she was so excited to see them that she did zoomies around the kennel and started bringing them all of her toys. They knew she was coming home with them that night. The timing of the adoption and the fact that Skylar came up from Georgia to New Jersey right when their mother passed made family and friends say that it was a “match made in Heaven.”

Sarah told us that adopting a rescue dog was not easy - they didn’t know anything about Skylar’s past besides that she was born in the Atlanta area and had lived outside. The result of that was that she did not really know how to walk on a leash and she was wary of dogs and new people. They had some challenges with her in her first few months but after a lot of training and adjusting, she is now a happy, relaxed, friendly dog not just with the Plishka family but with strangers too. Rescue dogs sometimes take time to feel comfortable in their new environment but it is rewarding to see how much they grow and change once they realize they are in a safe and loving “forever home.”

2021 was a tough year for the Plishka family - Skylar had to adjust to being a house pet in a suburban neighborhood and the Plishka family had to adjust to living without their mom. There were days where everyone had a hard time overcoming obstacles and getting used to their new lives, but they did it and learned a lot about each other along the way. As Sarah says, “To say ‘who rescued who?’ would be an understatement for our family, and we can’t imagine life without her. Skylar is so special to us and we are forever grateful to Eleventh Hour Rescue for matching us up with each other!”

We hope that you will consider adopting some of the beautiful pets at our local shelters to add more love and joy to your homes this Valentine's Day!

Eleventh Hour Rescue took this photo of the Plishka family on the night they adopted Skylar. Thank you for sharing your story with us Sarah!
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