Senior Adopted Dog Finds Best Friend in a Boy Named Zach

With Zach’s unconditional love for his dog George, the two are a perfect pair.

Zach + George

When young Zach chooses to adopt a senior dog, George, his family learns the true meaning of unconditional love.

"Sometimes it takes something as simple as seeing a boy and his dog to remind you of the things that are truly important in this life."

Life can sometimes change direction in small, simple moments that catch us by surprise. Sometimes that moment is as simple as a little boy meeting his dog for the first time.

George the dog and Zach

The day we met George is the most important day of Zach’s young life. We approached the adoption event watching puppies bounce excitedly, fresh pink bellies on display. But Zachary marched toward a stoic older gentleman, an old black lab sitting invisible amongst the puppies. His expressive eyes smiled as Zach approached. George was different from all the other dogs there, but Zach never noticed. His calloused elbows, rough paws, and white muzzle made it clear that he had experienced quite a long life. As Zach sat beside him and embraced George for the first time, the two formed an immediate and unbreakable bond. Few things in the world are as pure and innocent as a young boy and his dog, and Zach and George are proof.

George the dog and Zach

Zach was unwavering in his dedication to George from the start. We knew that taking George home would be difficult. We explained that George was an old man, and our time with him would be short. There would be no growing up with George, no running through the backyard— his well-worn body couldn’t keep up with Zachary’s. Most of all, we feared the inevitable outcome of adopting an older dog, and the heartbreak that Zach would feel all too soon. With each and every attempt to persuade him otherwise, Zach expressed his feelings through teary eyes and a quivering voice. He would provide George with the best home possible for his remaining days. The next day, George was home.

George the dog and Zach sleeping

Sometimes it is our children who teach us. Zach sees George through the eyes of unconditional love. George is his puppy. He doesn’t see a white face overcome with age, he sees a sweet puppy face that he smothers with kisses. We have learned more from Zach and George than all our years in school combined. The relationship these two share has truly shown us what our little boy is capable of.

George the dog and a baseball

George may be just another old dog to those who meet him. Perhaps that’s what he became to the owners who gave him up. Whatever their reason, we only have gratitude for them as they have given our child the experience of a lifetime. A best friend, an unconditional love, a chance to feel an unbreakable bond with a fellow being. We are only just beginning to feel the impact George has and will continue to have on all our lives. For Zachary especially, the decision to adopt George and bring him into our home was one he will treasure forever. Sometimes it takes something as simple as seeing a boy and his dog to remind you of the things that are truly important in this life. Zach has received many gifts during his short life, but the best and most precious of these gifts is George.

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 Spotty Dog Rescue in Connecticut a 2018 Holiday Wishes award.

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