Adopted Dog Inspires Dad to Live in the Moment and Enjoy the Ride

Chico is Tim’s shadow, best friend, and travel buddy. Together, they are realizing the joy in enjoying the journey.

Tim + Chico

During the pandemic, an adopted dog named Chico helped Tim cope with anxiety and uncertainty. Then, when Tim retired, Chico inspired a leisurely road trip—with plenty of time to slow down, experience joy, and appreciate every moment. 

"We do everything together, as besties do. We recently took a month-long road trip. As we set out on our trek, I looked at Chico and realized he always lives in the moment, which helped me to remember that life is all about the journey, not just the destination."

I fell in love with Chico at first sight. All 2 lbs. of him leaped into my heart at 4 p.m. on March 25, 2016, and he has continuously filled my life with unfathomable love and joy ever since. I thank him every day, several times a day for being such a faithful, fun and adventure-loving companion.

Chico entered my life pre-COVID. I don’t know how I would have managed my mental health without him during the pandemic. I was the Director of Counseling Services at a university when the pandemic struck. We rapidly transitioned to remote counseling services for our students so managing the office, sitting in committee meetings, supervising staff, and counseling clients from home was very stressful. Additionally, I live with a compromised immune system and I was terrified of getting the virus. 

How did Chico brighten my day and lessen my anxiety and fear of getting sick? He accompanied me throughout my Skype meetings, cuddled during counseling sessions with students, and let me know when it was time to go for walkies, when it was time to eat, and especially when it was time to go to bed. He helped me develop a self-care plan of healthy eating, working, playing, and sleeping.

I have since retired, and we continue to enjoy the benefits of being together 24/7. He is my shadow. We do everything together, as besties do. We recently took a month-long road trip to Seattle to visit family and friends. As we set out on our trek, I looked at Chico and realized he always lives in the moment, in the now, which helped me to remember that life is all about the journey, not just the destination. So we took our sweet time and explored Glacier National Park, the Silver Mountains of Idaho, the Palouse of Washington State, wine tasting in Walla Walla, and finally arrived in Seattle to share our joy with family and friends.

And that is Chico’s charism. Everyone he meets is uplifted by his loving, generous spirit. Chico instinctively knows how to make the sun shine for anyone on a cloudy day, which is quite a feat if you know Seattle. He is my little sunbeam for certain. I can’t have the blues with him at my side, in my lap watching bad TV, going for rides, or cuddling in bed.

How does Chico brighten my life? He has inspired me to live by my motto, which is, “Keep spreading your joys!” I catch him gazing at me and at that moment I know that I am his entire universe. I feel so honored to be in his excellent company. I hope that each of you can find someone that lifts you up and helps you find serenity in the midst of the chaos of our time.

Stay safe, stay kind, and keep spreading your joys!

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 Tim won Humane Society of Polk County in Crookston, Minnesota a 2021 Love Stories award.