Pet Adoption Success Story | The Story of Shamus - Champagne&Pearl

My name is Kelsey DeJesus and I'm a creative human being that decided to become a photographer. 
There were many idolizing jobs I dreamed about as a little girl and surprisingly photographer wasn't one of them, however turning what I love to do into a passionate career has been such a rewarding experience. 
Growing up being creative was in my nature, although I wasn't dreaming of becoming a photographer, I always took pictures and enjoyed scrapbooking as a way to preserve my own memories. Never did I imagine I would create a meaningful career of doing that for others! Being able to capture the joy of two people in love has in turn brought joy into my life as well. I thank god often for the opportunities for travel memories I can cherish and the amazing couples he has brought into my life through photography.

Meet Kelsey

Pet Adoption Success Story | The Story of Shamus


This a pet adoption success story. If you haven’t heard about Shamus’s story yet, you will now!

Where Shamus came from, the Adoption

Shamus was our pet adoption success story, rescued from a shelter while we lived in Korea. I found this shelter from a shared facebook post about another dog. The rescue’s name is “Empathy for Life” located in Goyang, South Korea, just outside the capitol of Seoul. The shelter was located about a 90 minute drive from Anjeong-Ri where we lived. The group of people who run the rescue take in a lot of “hopeless” cases.

All of the animals that the owner find are from all across Korea and are either going to be euthanized in a high kill shelter (which unfortunately is almost all shelters in Korea), were saved from the meat trade, or pulled from a puppy mill. Yes, the older Koreans still eat dog. This is a tradition thought to bring good luck. Thankfully the younger generation has shied away from this tradition.

I highly recommend this place to adopt from or to donate to as I’ve seen and talked with the owner who has such a great heart and does so much for all of the animals at the rescue.


Empathy for Life Rescue

They have a Facebook page and group below!

Image from the Facebook group of Shamus (Seamus in Korean) before he was adopted.





Our time in Korea

Shamus is an Alaskan Malamute/Great Pyrenees Mixed. The rescue said he was about 1 year old. At the time they didn’t know he was a great pyrenees mix. I discovered this because he has a double dew claw on his rear foot which is only found on a few dog breeds. He has the energy of the Malamute with the gentle giant-ness of the Pyrenees. Such a sweet boy who loves any attention and to play, play, play.

When we first brought Shamus home he had matted fur and a red paint on his shoulders; I can only assume he was marked for meat because of his size or to be euthanized. You could tell he was shy at first, but he loved laying out on the patio. Once he realized he was in a good place with us, you could tell he was excited and happy to have toys and someone to love him.

A little road trip

Once we were finally back in the states we made the long journey across the entire country back to Pennsylvania. I was concerned about how he would take the flight and long drive because having Shamus in a crate in korea was a literal nightmare. The flight went so well and even though we had to wait at the airport for about 2 hours, he was good in his shipping kennel the entire time!

Every rest stop we passed we stopped at; for both my little brother and to let shamus walk and relieve himself. Of course, I took this moment to capture some travel memories of Shamus from my phone too… Shamus has even been to yellowstone!

I’d even say that though he doesn’t know it, he’s a lucky to be such a well travel dog! If you want to read more about our yellowstone experience check out the blog post here.

How Shamus is doing today, the pet adoption success story

Shamus is still an avid traveler today. It’s hard for me to leave him home alone because he has separation anxiety which has caused some issues in the past. We discovered this in korea and though it’s gotten a little better it’s not enough for him to be left alone at home yet. When we visit my aunts house he seems to do better because another dog is there with him. Either way, we frequently travel to Georgia and Pennsylvania to see family and Shamus is always excited to get out and do something like going on road trips.

At our new house in georgia there have been some funny moments. During the summer a lot of frogs come out at night. Shamus hasn’t seen them before so he’s naturally curious and turns his head slightly while staring. A couple times a frog hopped away and shamus got so scared he jump up like he saw a ghost. He frequently barks at large birds and tries to convince them to come play with him. We sit out on the patio and watch the sunset and also play keep away on the nice days.

Now that the weather is getting nicer we went to the beach for his first time. He loved running in the sand and we are warming him up to the idea of water. Shamus is like my child and always will be!

See shamus at the beach here.


Thank you!

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  1. Heather says:

    What a sweet sweet pup! Thanks for sharing! Great Pet photography <3

  2. Erin says:

    A whole blog post all about your dog!! How sweet! What an amazing story!

  3. Kim Forbes says:

    Shamus is one fortunate dog to have you and I love his story! Thank you for documenting him with such beautiful images. He is gorgeous!

  4. Chinling says:

    What a special dog! He is so lucky to have you. 🙂

  5. Jennifer Cox says:

    such a sweet story and cute dog! Thank you for rescuing!

    • Kelsey DeJesus says:

      Thank you! We actually ran into issues previously trying to adopt here in the states due to all of the rules but Korea was more open.

  6. Brigitte says:

    What a beautiful story! I’m so glad you found Shamus! A beautiful dog 🙂

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