Adopted Dog Gives Mom the Strength to Rescue Herself

Sydney felt stuck in an abusive relationship. Then she met Bruno.

Sydney + Bruno

Sydney felt trapped in an abusive relationship, until she met Bruno. Adopting her dog gave her the strength to start anew, with her furry best friend by her side.

"Rescuing Bruno is what gave me the strength to rescue myself. He showed me unconditional love and made me no longer feel alone."

Adopted Dog Bruno

A few years ago, I found myself in one of the darkest points in my life. I was trapped in an abusive relationship, dating a man who was violent and controlling. I had moved with him to New York City, where I found myself completely isolated, with nothing outside of the relationship. I felt powerless, living in constant fear and turmoil.

It was then when I began fostering a little dog named Bruno. Bruno had been transported from Dallas to NYC, in search of a forever home. The shelter he was pulled from is one of the largest in the country, sometimes taking in over 100 dogs a day. Bruno acted tough but I could tell he was hiding his pain from previous trauma. He immediately became very attached to me and would panic if he wasn’t by my side. Within days of fostering Bruno, I fell in love and ended up adopting him.

Adopted Dog Bruno

Rescuing Bruno is what gave me the strength to rescue myself. At the time, Bruno was the only one who was aware of what I was going through. He showed me unconditional love and made me no longer feel alone. Although I overlooked the importance of my own safety, I knew I needed to keep Bruno safe. I could no longer keep him in an environment where we were both susceptible to violence. Bruno gave me the strength I needed to flee from the abuse I had suffered from for so long. I truly don’t think I could have done this without him.

Bruno and I now live in Massachusetts and run a successful dog walking company. Bruno plays a big role in the business, and this gives him confidence and a sense of purpose. He wakes up happy every day, knowing that all his friends are waiting for him to come take them out. Bruno comes along to supervise every walk. His presence has helped to seal the deal for many of our new clients. Bruno is now living his best life, spending everyday walking in the woods with me and all of his doggy friends.

Adopted Dog Bruno

I never would have imagined the impact that Bruno would have on my life. Not only did he pull me out of a downward spiral, but he inspired me to reinvent my career and start my own business. Bruno and I have both had traumatic experiences, but we are resilient now that we have each other. Bruno is my best friend now and I’m so grateful to have him in my life.

Each year, the Petco Foundation invites adopters to share the story of how their adopted pet changed their lives during the annual Holiday Wishes campaign, giving the organization that they adopted from a chance to receive a grant award. This story by Sydney won Hearts & Bones Animal Rescue in Dallas, Texas a 2019 Holiday Wishes award.