“Best Dog in the World” Inspires Adopter to Advocate for All Dogs

Everything’s bigger in Texas—including their hearts.

every gift saves lives

every gift saves lives

Paul + Texas Porkchop

My Texas Porkchop is a 12-pound, brown and white Chihuahua mix. Like many other dog owners, I boast that my “little brother” is the greatest dog on the planet. And like all of them, I am absolutely right.

"I carried his picture in my pocket through two deployments to Afghanistan."

We found each other at the Montgomery Humane Society in 2010 while I was in training for the Air Force. It was an instant connection—and in a life full of uncertainty, I was certain I made the right choice in adopting Tex. I carried his picture in my pocket through two deployments to Afghanistan. And while other troops talked about their significant others or children, I’d talk about Texas. When I called home I talked to him on the speakerphone. I even send him birthday and Christmas gifts and included shirts I had worn so my scent would let him know I would return. None of this is the point of this story, but we became inseparable.

Texas has brought me great joy in my life, so much that he inspired me to give back to those who helped us. Texas’ introduction into my life gave me a purpose: I wanted to help dogs in need get a second chance. I couldn’t believe a dog like him could end up without a home, but whatever the circumstances, it worked out for both of us and I wanted to pay it forward.

What started off as a few hours a month cleaning kennels soon turned to six full days a month matching people to the right dog, and the right dog to the right home. I would come home after an eight hour day soaked in sweat and smelling to high heaven, and Tex would meet me at the door jealously sniffing me, knowing where I’d been. Repeatedly I’d explain to him, “Because you have been so good to me, I want other dogs and families to experience this happiness. You don’t know it, but because of you a few more dogs now have a better life.”

Tex would reluctantly agree, and demand his tribute of scratches and bacon for what he saw as playing with other dogs all day. Together we became advocates for adoption in Alabama, Virginia, Georgia, and Texas over the last seven years. Our work has helped 207 dogs, six cats and one turtle find new homes. Whenever one got adopted I would say, “Thank a little dog named Texas that I am here to help you.”

Texas is a hero to a lot of dogs who will never meet him. Those dogs and families will go on to save more lives and help more dogs. My little brother the bacon eater, the Chihuahua named after a big state, who fears nothing except thunder and baths, may never know he saved lives—and those whose lives he saved may never know him—but there are a lot more wet noses and wagging tails out there who got a second chance because of Texas.

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 Paul Cancino won Montgomery Humane Society in Alabama a 2017 Holiday Wishes award.