Senior Adopted Dog Lives Each Moment to the Fullest

Zachary once struggled with life’s ups and downs. Then he met Chewlia.

Zachary + Chewlia

Life’s twists and turns aren’t always easy to navigate. Thanks to a senior pup named Chewlia, Zachary is making the most of every step.

"I think we're learning together on a daily basis that today isn't about where you thought you'd be yesterday, it's about where you are now."

Life doesn’t always go exactly how you think it will. Careers and circumstances can change, friends and loved ones can come and go, and our paths can wind in unexpected directions. In short, even the best laid plans are subject to ebbs and tides beyond our control. Learning to deal with this is one of life’s great journeys: one I have, at times, struggled with.

Adopted Dog Chewlia

It was at a time of such struggle that I first laid eyes on a small, soulful looking little sloth-dog named Chewy through Foster Dogs, Inc. Chewy was a senior stray — somewhere north of a dozen years old and a matted, trembly mess. Times had certainly somehow gotten hard for Chewy, but she looked ready for what was next.

Adopted Dog Chewlia

I extended Chewy’s name to Chewlia Louis-Dreyfus: a moniker that felt befitting of her regal aura and mysterious (to me) past. Her first night home, she wasn’t as timid as I’d expected. She found a preferred resting place beneath a stool in my living room. She played readily with a stuffed football I’d gotten her. We shared a few cubes of fresh watermelon. Chewlia was in the here and now, and whatever had led to her fending for herself on the streets wasn’t impacting her view of the future.

Adopted Dog Chewlia

I like to imagine Chewlia’s past — that she was a lady of some means. Maybe she’d brushed shoulders with famous politicians and writers throughout her long history. I know that there is some actuality that’s probably less happy, but I’ve learned from Chewy that it doesn’t have to matter. We strut the streets of New York every day enjoying the drinks in front of us and excited for the meals ahead.

In the short 10 or so months I’ve had her, Chewlia and I have been from the Hollywood Hills to rocky New England shores, from the open skies of Texas to the bustling streets of Chicago. As a 30-year-old guy living in the city, I never would’ve thought that an old-lady-dog would be the right fit for me, but I think we’re learning together on a daily basis that today isn’t about where you thought you’d be yesterday, it’s about where you are now.

Adopted Dog Chewlia

Without Foster Dogs, Inc., I wouldn’t have Chewlia. Without Chewlia, I’m not sure I’d have a daily reminder of what’s important on the hard days, and an extra smile on the easy ones. Dogs may not fix all of our problems, but they sure have a way of keeping it all in perspective.

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 Zachary won Foster Dogs, Incorporated in Brooklyn, New York a 2019 Holiday Wishes award.