Adopted Dog Gives Child Strength to be Themself

Franklyn’s unconditional love brightened Keegan’s life.

Keegan + Franklyn

Growing up as a non-binary kid was hard for Keegan, but adopting Franklyn helped bring strength, joy and best friendship.

"Franklyn loves me for me and doesn't care what I wear or that I’m non-binary. It’s nice always having someone to be there for me, no matter what. Growing up as a non-binary kid is hard and a lot of people don’t understand me. Franklyn understands me and that’s all that matters."

When I was in fourth grade, kids bullied me because I’m non-binary. That means I dress differently than people thought I should dress, so kids would make fun of me and say mean things. It made me feel very sad and depressed. It made me not like going to school. I would come home and cry almost every day. I didn’t want to be alive anymore.

My mom thought having a friend would help me not feel so depressed. Our dog passed away in the fall, and I really missed her. She used to help me when I felt sad, so I thought another dog would help too. My mom helped me look on websites to find a dog that might work for me. We found one that was going to be at a Petco, so we made sure we were at the store right when it opened to meet her.

When I first met Franklyn Ruth Anne Pupperstein, I was so excited. I thought she was going to be the perfect dog for me. After we adopted her, she sat on my lap the whole way home. I knew we would be best friends! Since we adopted Franklyn, she’s always by my side. She helps lift my spirits when I’m feeling depressed by snuggling me and giving me kisses. When I’m sad and she’s getting really playful, I see that she’s happy which makes me happy. We go on walks together to help me clear my head. Whenever I feel like I don’t have any friends, she helps me because I know I still at least have one: her.

Franklyn loves me for me and doesn’t care what I wear or that I’m non-binary. It’s nice always having someone to be there for me, no matter what. Growing up as a non-binary kid is hard and a lot of people don’t understand me. Franklyn understands me and that’s all that matters. I’m so lucky to have her by my side as I continue to live as a LGBTQ+ person. Now I finally see the sunshine on my cloudy days!

Each year, the Petco Foundation Holiday Wishes campaign invites adopters to share stories of how their pets have changed their lives to give the organizations that they’ve adopted from the chance to receive grant awards. This story by Keegan won Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter in Georgetown, Texas a 2020 Holiday Wishes award.