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New Kitten Helps Family Dog Overcome Separation Anxiety

By PetcoFoundation on Mar. 23, 2017

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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 Lindsey Getz won Forever Home Rescue in Spring City, Pennsylvania a 2016 Holiday Wishes award. 

My husband and I are dog people. But this story is the about a kitten “for the kids” who ended up changing all our lives, including our family dog.

When we adopted Pete from Forever Home Rescue, it was because of our kids, ages three and six, kept saying that our current senior pets, a 10-year-old cat and a nine-year-old dog, just didn't want to play with them enough.

So, we adopted Pete, a young Maine Coon mix who had a laid-back temperament that seemed a perfect fit for our family's combination of crazy kids and older pets. What I didn't expect was the way that Pete would bond so tightly with our Golden Retriever, Lucy.

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A few years ago, my husband took a job that required him to travel a lot. When he travels, it's particularly hard on Lucy who doesn't understand why her person must leave.

In her older age, Lucy’s depression and anxiety have become much worse when my husband is gone. Sometimes, she won’t even get up in the morning and will cry all day long. Our veterinarian suggested doggy anti-depressants, but I was reluctant to medicate her. We tried everything, including frequent FaceTiming with my husband, keeping his clothes near her bed and giving her special attention whenever he’s gone.

Nothing worked until we brought Pete home. From day one, Pete seemed attached to Lucy. He curled up with her on the sofa, followed her around the house and even slept with her at night.

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Suddenly, Lucy's mood improved, even when my husband was gone. If I had to run the kids somewhere, I usually felt guilty leaving Lucy at home. But now I come home and find her curled up with her buddy Pete.

As a self-proclaimed dog person, I never knew a kitten could bring quite so much joy. Pete has brought so much life back to our old girl. I believe Lucy's role as a mentor to Pete also keeps her busy when my husband is gone.

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Pete has only been with us for a few months, but he has already made a tremendous impact on our lives. We were so grateful for the shelter's work that my six-year-old wanted to give something back to them. So, she baked and sold dog biscuits and raised over $200 for the small organization who’s doing big things for animals.

Add some love to your life. Learn more about adoptions at Petco.


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