Son’s Search for a Companion for His Mom Leads to Adopted Dog, Sunny

With her pup by her side, Christina has Sunny days ahead.

Christina + Sunny

Shelter staff member sets his mom Christina up with the perfect life companion–a joyful little dog named Sunny.

"I got in better shape, made friends, and was happier every day, all thanks to this little dog."

Adopted Dog Sunny

My son tried for years to find me a boyfriend. When that failed, he adopted me a dog instead. “I love you mom, but you’re calling me four times a week,” he said. “I think it might be time to get you a dog.”

I lived in loneliness for a long time. I didn’t have a spouse, worked from home and most of my family lived far away. I spent way too much time watching television, and not enough time getting out into the world. My son works for the Front Street Animal Shelter, and in January of 2017, he called saying there was an adorable dog that really needed a foster home “for a few days.” I think he knew it would turn into more than that.

Adopted Dog Sunny

Sunny had a pink mohawk and smelled strongly of perfume. The shelter did a post on Facebook to try finding the owner, but after several days, no one came. By then, I’d already decided to keep her. Right from the beginning, my whole life changed. I had someone to talk to, someone to read with, someone to get me out of the house for walks, and one heck of a conversation starter. I got in better shape, made friends, and was happier every day, all thanks to this little dog.

But where she really saved me was after my seizures. I had brain surgery the previous year, and while it was successful, I was always at the risk of seizures. It finally happened, and I wasn’t allowed to drive for six months. When I neared the six months, I had yet another seizure, which confined me to my home for another six months without driving. Without Sunny, I would have been in a very dark, isolated place. True to her name, she lit up my days and gave me warmth in the cold, harsh times.

Adopted Dog Sunny

So when my medication was finally fixed, and my driving privileges restored after nearly a year with no reliable transportation, the first thing I did was take her for a hike in her favorite spot an hour away.

Recently I broke my ankle, and again, she got me through the three months where I couldn’t get around. Even though she’s a young dog needing lots of exercise, she sensed I wasn’t able to take her for walks, and never demanded it, instead staying loyally by my side, and being content with the occasional toss of a sock. Getting old isn’t easy, but having a companion like her gets me through the difficulties and see the bright side of life each day.

For anyone experiencing loneliness and isolation, please consider adopting a pet. They’ll save you even more than you save them.

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 Christina won City of Sacramento Front Street Shelter in Sacramento, California a 2019 Holiday Wishes award.