Early Bird Dog Helps Chronic Sleeper See the Light

Who knew there was so much worth waking up before noon for?

every gift saves lives

every gift saves lives

Molly + Frank, Jr. Jr.

The first major revelation I had after getting Frank, Jr. Jr. is how many people are awake and out in the world before 8 a.m. I remember going to the park that first Saturday around 7:30 and thinking, “My god! There is an entire world of things that I didn’t even know existed!”

"I remember going to the park that first Saturday around 7:30 and thinking, ‘My god! There is an entire world of things that I didn’t even know existed!’ "

This world is comprised of dog owners and baby owners (often both), all walking their dogs and babies in the park and drinking coffee they made at home. And this happens every day. While I was asleep underneath piles of orange cat, these people were throwing Chuck-Its and Frisbees and talking to each other.

For years, I was living in what could rightly be described as a Depressive’s Paradise. I had a beautiful garden level apartment that experienced exactly two minutes of direct sunlight in the height of summer. My two feline roommates enabled—even encouraged—daylong sleeping marathons. I thought I was doing fine. I was “enjoying” my cold, dark cave. But my shrink thought maybe there was more out there for me. He suggested I get a dog, so I did.

Did you know that dogs wake up really early? They wake up at the same time every day, look at you, and say, “HEY HEY! It’s MORNING. LET’S GOOOOOOOOOOO!”

Did you also know that dogs don’t care if it’s cold outside? Or if it’s raining, or if it’s humid, or if there’s something really important happening on TV? They look at you and say, “HEY HEY! It’s WALKING TIME. LET’S GOOOOOOOOOOO!”

Frank immediately fell in as my best friend/annoying roommate who is always trying to get me to do things I don’t want to do. Like go to the park and actually talk to people. He will run up to any random person and try and steal their ball, or successfully steal their ball, so you have to go over and say, “Hey, sorry about that,” and then you’re talking to a person when you specifically made up your mind that you did not want to talk to people today.

It’s been almost two years since Frank rescued me, and my training progress has been remarkable. I no longer sleep all day, or avoid personal interactions. I no longer wonder what unconditional love feels like. We moved to an apartment six stories up, with windows that frame the sunrise (“HEY HEY! Look! SUN’S UP! LET’S GOOOOOOOOO!”). I bought a coffee maker—one that drips the coffee directly into my stainless to-go cup.

We now live in a world of the AM. With dogs, conversation and made-at-home coffee. I am living in Frank’s Paradise, and I’ve got to say, it’s pretty awesome here.

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 Molly Sugarman won Muddy Paws Rescue in New York a 2017 Holiday Wishes award.