Middle school isn’t the easiest stage in life, but for a boy named Carson, life at school was almost unbearable. Bullies harassed him in the hallways, and it didn’t take long for their hateful actions to take a toll on Carson’s emotional well-being. His confidence plummeted, and he started feeling anxious and depressed. It took all his courage to walk into school, and every day was a struggle.
To try and help their son, Carson’s family sought every kind of professional help they could think of. They communicated with the school and utilized outside resources, but nothing seemed to make a difference. Then Carson’s mom had an idea. Pets have been proven to promote self confidence in children and help them feel more secure. A relationship with a dog can help a person struggling with depression feel good about themselves, and that’s exactly what Carson needed.
Carson’s mom was on a mission to find the perfect canine companion for her son. She ended up meeting a six-month-old puppy named Zero. After being hit by a car, Zero tragically had his leg amputated. He was up for adoption with A Forever Home Rescue Foundation, and life for the rescue pup wasn’t easy. He had to learn how to live with only three legs, and without a home to call his own, life wasn’t what it could be. Zero needed a family that would love him unconditionally.
Carson’s mom fell in love with Zero the moment she met him. She was sure the resilient puppy would inspire her son to overcome his own challenges. It turns out that mothers know best. Carson and Zero formed a fast bond, and now they’re best friends. Carson can look at his dog and know no matter what, he has a friend that will love him forever. Zero has had to face his own pain and heartache in life, but his happy personality is an inspiration for Carson.
When school started again this fall, Carson’s depression and anxiety melted away. He walks the halls with newfound confidence, and his family is thrilled to see the dramatic improvement in Carson’s mental health. Bullies may still be a problem, but now Carson knows his best friend Zero will always be there to help him through.
Carson and Zero’s story is only one example of the amazing ways dogs and people benefit from each other. To celebrate this bond, The Petco Foundation is hosting their annual “All for Saving Lives” campaign. Their goal is to raise $2.2 million for lifesaving animal welfare organizations like the one that brought Carson and Zero together.
You can visit their website to read about more life-changing adoption stories. You can also help their cause by donating online or at any Petco store through Sept. 9. If you’re ready for a new furry family member, the All for Saving Lives National Adoption Weekend is Sept. 1 – Sept. 2.
Featured image via A Forever Home Rescue Foundation