Chihuahua Brings Hope to Parenthood Journey

Adopting Charlie helped Amy and James keep hope that one day they would be great parents for their human child, too.

Amy + Charlie

Amy and her husband James wanted to start a family but faced hurdles on their fertility journey. Then along came Charlie, a Chihuahua puppy who gave them hope.

"Charlie’s presence helped us heal and gave us hope that one day we would be awesome parents. When I think about Charlie it brings tears to my eyes, tears of joy. "

My husband James and I have been married for almost five years. When we first got married, we were anxious to start our family. But because we were starting our family later in life, we knew we may have a hard path. And what a hard path it has been. After eight miscarriages and a failed IVF, we were at our wit’s end—devastated and broken. The constant heartache and roller coaster of emotions have not been easy.

Then entered Charlie the Chihuahua. We already have four cats of our own and never really entertained the thought of adopting a puppy. (You know how cats can be.) However, Charlie was a bit of a surprise. We rescued him from a family member’s neighbor in New Mexico and began our journey back to Texas, fully intending to take him to our shelter (I work for Operation Kindness) and get him adopted.

But Charlie was too young for his neuter surgery, so we were asked to foster him. Three years later and Charlie is still ours. Little did we know that this little guy would become part of our lives and bring us such immense joy. A joy that we hadn’t felt in a very long time.

We had never had a dog so we were new at caring for him. So, we decided to treat him like a child. We had no idea how similar puppies and human children are! He makes us laugh on a daily basis, he can tell when we are sad, he never stops getting excited to see us (even if we only are out of his sight for five minutes). He loves the cats, and they sometimes love him. He is great at taking care of foster kittens who need a little more love and attention. We take him everywhere with us and we even have a stroller for him.

Charlie’s presence helped us heal from our many tragedies and gave us hope that one day we would be awesome parents. When I think about Charlie it brings tears to my eyes, tears of joy. Everyone who meets him falls in love with him, and our family and friends always keep up with Charlie and his antics. We love taking care of him and absolutely cannot imagine life without him. He is truly a member of our family. 

Charlie gave us a gift that we can never fully repay him for: hope. Recently, we found out we are expecting a baby! Charlie continues to be our child — and we just know he’ll love, care for, and be a great companion to his future human sibling.

Each year, Petco Love Stories invites adopters to share 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 Amy won Operation Kindness in Carrollton, Texas a 2021 Love Stories award.