Adopted Pit Bull Takes Being a Big Brother Seriously

Romeo was born to love, play and be the best dog brother ever.

Kathryn + Romeo

Romeo showed Kathryn and her husband that when welcoming a new human baby, dogs can be the best siblings!

"Romeo has dutifully supervised every diaper change, bedtime story and bath. He's taken his job as Cheerio clean-up crew and baby drum without skipping a beat."

Adopted Dog Romeo

My husband and I always knew we wanted to have a baby. At the time, we already had one rescue pit bull and had been married for three years. Most people who knew us were expecting our next bundle of joy to be a baby, not another dog. But when our first dog fell ill, for some reason we were called to find her a companion, and that’s when we welcomed Romeo — another pit bull — into our family. Now we had two dogs, 60-plus pounds, and still no baby.

Later in the same year, we found ourselves excitedly expecting. We nested, took birthing classes, and did our best to prepare for this new addition to our already sizable family of four. What people didn’t know was that we struggled, cried and tormented over if we should keep Romeo. He had a significant spat with our first dog, and we were afraid of the environment or potential danger we’d be bringing a new baby into. In the end, we couldn’t do it. We kept Romeo, held him tight and told him we needed him to embrace his new role as “Big Brother.”

Adopted Dog Romeo

Our first baby arrived on May 25, 2019. One week later, Romeo met his “Little Brother” Kyrie for the first time. Contrary to our fears, Romeo did not react to Kyrie’s late-night crying, and somehow just knew that this new baby was his. From that first week of Kyrie’s life to now, 16 months later, Romeo has dutifully supervised every diaper change, bedtime story and bath. He’s taken his job as Cheerio clean-up crew and baby drum without skipping a beat, and even allows himself to be chased around the house by a baby walker.

Adopted Dog Romeo

Because of Romeo and our other dog, Kyrie is completely enamored with dogs, points and says, “dog dog” to any dog he sees with a giant smile, and sleeps with a stuffed toy that closely resembles his “Big Brother” Romeo. We often catch Kyrie sitting in his highchair looking into
Romeo’s eyes, somehow scheming an “accidental” drop of food together. Kyrie will drop his food next to Romeo, then look at us and say, “Uh oh” while Romeo capitalizes on his side of the deal.

Adopted Dog Romeo

Thinking back, I am embarrassed to recall the times we almost considered rehoming Romeo, but I acknowledge the anticipation of being new parents is also real. Today, we are a big happy family of five. I know now that Romeo will protect his little brother no matter what, and that Kyrie will always respect his big brother and other animals. Kyrie and Romeo continue to build their memories together and as Kyrie grows bigger with every day, so does their love for one another and the strengthening of their bond as brothers.

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 Kyrie won Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA in Burlingame, California a 2019 Holiday Wishes award.