Adopted Dog Provides Family with Emotional Support During Quarantine

Scooby helps his new family find balance and joy in the midst of a quarantine.

Maria + Scooby

Scooby gives his family lots of loving care, especially winning over his pet dad and helping 13-year-old Jordan smile.

"Despite the deluge of sadness that 2020 has brought us, we’re in a good space. I attribute so much of that to the adoption of our newly beloved family member."

Like many families, 2020 has been a rough year for our family. I lost my job, watched my father lose his battle with cancer, and saw my oldest son hospitalized — all before COVID-19 and the national protests were even a thought. Then the quarantines hit, and we found ourselves confined for several months. Having three teenage sons full time is no joke! I was most worried about my 13-year-old, Jordan, who has brain trauma and feels everything so deeply that he stayed in his room day and night, waiting until everyone was asleep before sneaking into the kitchen to eat. After therapy didn’t seem to help him, I was at my wits end. We decided to foster a dog.

Jordan has wanted a dog for years. My husband, Terrell, was a self-proclaimed dog hater, so I didn’t think adopting a dog was a smart idea. But this year has been different — and we thought fostering a dog might bring Jordan out of his lethargic existence. After getting recommendations from my manager about Kreitzer’s Critter Corral Puppy Rescue, I signed up and within a couple days, we were bringing Scooby home.

Jordan wanted a dog, but wasn’t prepared for the responsibilities. So I was pleasantly surprised to see how well his brothers stepped up to help with walks, cleaning up accidents, and feeding time. But the most amazing aspect was that my self-professed dog-hating husband fell in love. He has cleaned up more dog messes than anyone. When we grilled out for Labor Day and he fed the boys burgers, but Scooby received steak, I knew he was a goner.

The transformation in Jordan has been heartwarming. It took him a moment to warm up, especially when Scooby discovered Jordan’s favorite stuffed dog and made it his personal chew toy. During that time, Scooby slowly bonded with all of us in different ways. He is feistier with Terrell, more chill with my youngest son Jason, cuddlier with Jaden, and a lap dog with me. He also does an incredible job of reading Jordan’s moods. He comes close when Jordan is friendly, and he stays at a respectful distance when Jordan is feeling sad.

Since we’ve had Scooby these last few months, I’m happy to see that Jordan has come out of his bedroom and is spending more time with us. His good days have increased, and it is pure joy to see him smile. I’ve listened to him tell Scooby how much he loves him. Despite the deluge of sadness that 2020 has brought us, we’re in a good space. I attribute so much of that to the adoption of our newly beloved family member.

Each year, Petco Love Holiday Wishes campaign invites adopters to share stories of how their pets have changed their lives to give the organizations that they’ve adopted from the chance to receive grant awards. This story by Maria won Kreitzer’s Critter Corral Puppy Rescue in Kannapolis, North Carolina a 2020 Holiday Wishes award.