A “Not Too Big” Dog Brings a Big Miracle to Her New Family

Luna’s love helped Deborah’s mom amid dementia, and gave her family the priceless gift of quality time together.

Deborah + Luna

Deborah was fairly sure that a Great Pyrenees puppy would be too big for her family, but she had to meet Luna anyway. Adopting Luna brought her happiness, joy, and the gift of presence for Deborah and her elderly parents. 

"Mom spoke to us about Luna for over four hours that first day. The smile never left her face. I fought back tears, seeing glimpses of the strong and determined woman that I had always known. Dad, wept as he whispered, ‘Thank you for bringing my wife back,’ into Luna’s fluffy white ear."

I had promised myself that I would never have another dog I couldn’t lift when I lost my 150-pound Mastiff in 2018. “TOO BIG,” I thought as I looked at the photo of a beautiful Great Pyrenees puppy online. “She will be too big,” I thought as I emailed Posh Pets Rescue just to find out about her. “Another dog? No, she will be too big,” I reassured myself while driving there just to be sure that she was, in fact, too big.


As a
not-too-big 55 pounds of white fluffy joy named Luna bounded towards me, my excuse evaporated. She came home with me, bringing with her the biggest gift that my family could ever hope for.

Because I couldn’t leave a new puppy home alone, Luna joined me on my next visit to my elderly parents. I am fortunate to have the ability to keep them together in their own home with two wonderful health care aides providing round-the-clock care. At 102, Dad is vibrant and active, but Mom, 100, suffers from advanced dementia. She is almost completely withdrawn and has been mostly non-verbal for the past six months or so. Most often she sits in a chair, drifting in and out of consciousness. Upon “waking,” she is disoriented, agitated, and frightened, with my devastated Dad watching helplessly as the love of his life fades away moment by moment.

Mom had always loved dogs, but until now, mine were too high energy for her. Luna was perfect, though. Her calm gentleness was incredibly soothing to Mom. Each time Mom “woke up,” she would immediately look around until her eyes settled on Luna, and then she would smile. When confused and disoriented, she would spontaneously focus on Luna and a peace would overcome her within seconds. It was as if Luna sensed when Mom needed her—she would immediately get up and slowly walk over to softly lay her head on Mom’s hand.

Mom spoke to Luna and spoke to us about Luna for over four hours that first day. The smile never left her face, and she would sternly correct me about how to hold the leash, etc. I fought back tears, seeing glimpses of the strong and determined woman that I had always known until the past few years. Dad, never before a dog person, wept as he whispered, “Thank you for bringing my wife back” into Luna’s fluffy white ear.

It broke my heart to leave with Luna that afternoon. Mom said “goodbye” to “her dog,” and asked me to bring her back, which I continue to do several times a week. Some days are better than others, but Luna always brings a smile to Mom’s face and joy to Dad’s heart as he watches her rejoin the world each time. Sometimes Luna brings her back to us for minutes and sometimes for hours, but every moment is a miracle… and a miracle is never too big.

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 Deborah won Posh Pets Rescue in Long Beach, New York a 2021 Love Stories award.