Adopted Dog Helps Mom Get Back on Her Feet

Adopting Beau helped Darlene find strength while living with Multiple Sclerosis.

Darlene + Beau

Multiple Sclerosis had Darlene feeling depleted. Then adopting Beau helped her make strides toward a happier and stronger future.

"I went from walking barely 3,000 steps a day to 20,000 steps a day. My doctor instantly saw results and joked I should get two dogs because the transformation after just one was incredible."

Little did I know that my worst nightmare would lead me to the best thing in my life. In 2017, I had been living with Multiple Sclerosis for three years and it was getting harder. My life was completely changed by this debilitating disease. It was taking its toll on me, both physically and emotionally. After going through a round of testing, I sat crying in my doctor’s office. My balance was getting worse and because of that, I was rarely leaving my house. It was a vicious cycle. I didn’t want to exercise because it was so physically exhausting and difficult for me, but I needed to exercise in order to get stronger. Then my doctor said three words that changed my world: “Get a dog.”

Adopted Dog Beau

I found Last Hope K9 that gave Arkansas dogs on death row a second chance at life. I saw a dog named Tynes. He was listed as special needs because he was so timid and shy. His foster mother wrote the most beautiful write up and I knew within 30 seconds that he was the one.

Adopted Dog Beau

I adopted Beau (formerly known as Tynes) on December 20, 2017. This is also the day I began to take my life back. Holding a leash and walking with him helped my balance and it allowed me to exercise. I went from walking barely 3,000 steps a day to 20,000 steps a day. My doctor instantly saw results and joked I should get two dogs because the transformation after just one was incredible.

Adopted Dog Beau

Before Beau, I avoided anywhere with stairs and places without a railing. My right foot wasn’t strong enough to hold all my weight and I couldn’t lift it high enough to climb stairs. After months of walking, my foot became stronger and I started using all the stairs I could find. I remember where I was when I climbed my first set of stairs in years because I cried. I cried tears of joy. This little bubble that I was living in since my diagnosis didn’t exist anymore and now there were no boundaries. If a friend asked me to go to dinner, I could instantly say yes. I didn’t have to drive by first to make sure I’d be able to access the restaurant.

Adopted Dog Beau

Feeling better physically helped me emotionally as well. I regained my confidence and started having a social life again. I’ve met other dog parents that are now my best friends. I avoided parties before and now I’m attending all sorts of events, including lots of dog parties!

I will be forever grateful to this little puppy. I think I’ve helped him as much as he’s helped me. He started as a dog that would barely hold his head up, and now he holds his head high as if he owns the city. In a lot of ways, we are the same. Beau is more than a dog. He is my best friend, my lifeline and 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 Darlene won Last Hope K9 Rescue in Boston, Massachusetts a 2019 Holiday Wishes award.