Four-year-old pit bull Kimmy Gibbler has quite the story: She started life as a dog fighting victim and spent nearly two years in a foster home before a loving couple — not put off by her scars — scooped her up.

But Kimmy’s story is far from over. After being adopted by Carol and Jay Sherwood, she now has a busy schedule filled with running Zoomies around a huge fenced-in backyard, retrieving her favorite ball for hours on end, staking out and defending “her” bed from the humans, and snuggling.

“She came in like a tornado, and she hasn’t slowed down since,” Carol told People

Kimmy Gibbler

Kimmy Gibbler (Courtesy of Humane Society of West Michigan)

Kimmy arrived at the Humane Society of West Michigan (HSWM) almost two years ago and went into the care of a loving foster. HSWM employee Zoey Goehring told WCNC news that the sweet black and white mix was “the most scarred dog to ever come through its facility” but added she also was “super resilient.”

“You would never know how hard her past has been from her behavior,” HSWM wrote in a social media post. “The Kimmy we know and love is social, she is playful and snuggly.”

But like many other deserving dogs, Kimmy kept getting overlooked by adopters — possibly because her face bore the signs of her trauma. 

Still, hopeful that Kimmy’s forever home was out there, HSWM staff launched a month-long “KimmyPalooza” social media campaign to get her adopted.

The posts noted fun facts about Kimmy’s incredible abilities — including that she would “do anything to catch a ball,” that she is an “expert in acrobatics,” and that she has an outstanding capacity to “play and play until she’s completely tuckered out.”

Kimmy Gibbler

Kimmy Gibbler (Courtesy of Humane Society of West Michigan)

The campaign worked.

The Sherwoods saw Kimmy’s story. Although they were grieving the recent loss of their beloved dog Molly, Carol Sherwood said she felt it was fate.

“I believe in destiny,” she told news. “I feel like there were just too many coincidences that all came together. I think she was meant to be here.”

The Sherwoods quickly learned, however, that dogs have their own personalities — and Kimmy was determined to create her own space in the couple’s hearts.

“Our last little dog, Molly, had died about 2 months prior, and it really devastated me,” Carol told Lady Freethinker. “She was my baby, my little cuddler, and the most laid-back dog I’d ever seen. All she wanted was to sleep on my lap and go for rides.  So, when Kimmy arrived, it was total chaos!  She’s a highly energetic, 45-pound black tornado, and I’ve more than once thought of that Miley Cyrus song, because she really did come in like a wrecking ball!  It has been a big adjustment for us, but she has made it pretty easy.  She’s the best girl ever!  Her manners are good, and she never makes a mess or destroys anything except for her toys.”

Carol said there really was no “warm up” time at all. Kimmy walked into the house, looked around, and quickly claimed the couple’s bed.

“There was no doubt from the first minute that she understood that she was HOME,” Carol said. “She showed us total trust right away and just loved all the extra attention. Since we are retired, she owns us pretty much all the time. Nobody leaves her unless it’s to get groceries or something.”

Goehring said Kimmy was lucky to land her forever home with the Sherwoods.

“She’s been waiting for someone just like these two,” she said. “She deserves to have so much love after all that has been done to her.”

The humane society posted a picture of a seemingly very happy Kimmy beside a basket of treats and new toys to announce the adoption. Underneath the post, Carol posted a video of Kimmy racing around a grass-filled backyard, a thank you to the people who cared for Kimmy,  and a note written from Kimmy’s perspective.


Kimmy’s Favorite Ball (Courtesy of Carol Sherwood)

“I’m with my new family now and we are doing fine, even though these old people give up after only 4-5 hours of throwing my ball,” she wrote. “Hopefully they will do better soon. I love my new yard too!”

Carol quipped to LFT, “Kimmy’s life is all about the BALL. Get someone to throw the ball, chase the ball, catch the ball, bring the ball back…repeat endlessly. Outside in the yard, in the house, doesn’t matter.  After she gets us to play as long as absolutely possible, it’s time for a couple treats, or a little dinner, then when you’re trying to watch Jeopardy you will have the ball continuously jammed into your lap until you just give up and restart the cycle.”

The Humane Society of West Michigan (HSWM) told Lady Freethinker that Kimmy G is thriving in her new home and had a different perspective about the ball throwing.

“She has been doing great settling in with them,” HSWM said via email. “She plays ball in their backyard for hours and loves to snuggle. She crawls right up into her new adopters’ laps often and looks for love.”

Kimmy Gibbler

Kimmy Gibler (Courtesy of Humane Society of West Michigan)


Lady Freethinker is overjoyed that this fantastic couple opened their homes and hearts to Kimmy!! 

Unfortunately, long stays at shelters for sweet dogs are far too common. If you’re thinking about adding a new companion animal to your home, please visit a shelter or rescue near you! Or if you can’t adopt, please consider sharing social media posts or announcements about adoptable animals to help them find loving homes.  

As Carol noted, “To all of you who adopt from a shelter, don’t just choose the cute, fuzzy puppies. Go in and look for a dog (or even a cat) who has been passed over for no fault of their own. Older dogs, black dogs, so-called ‘bully’ breeds, they all need a caring home. And for those who skipped on Kimmy Gibbler?  All y’all made the biggest mistake ever.  This girl, in spite of her horrific history, is sweet, gentle, and so loving. These dogs know when they are rescued, when they are loved, and they respond 10-fold.”