Where every Family matters!
Past issuesFeeds Facebook Twitter Contact
July 2015 / Bronx/​Riverdale Family / Brooklyn Family / Long Island Family / Manhattan Family / Queens Family / Staten Island Family / Adoption

And then there was Hayley

Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like New York Parenting on Facebook.

It was a typical Saturday morning in Brooklyn. I was showering when my kids began knocking on the bathroom door, explaining that a pet adoption van was parked outside our building and, “Could we just go look? Pleeeeze?”

It had been a tough year. My then-9-year-old daughter Kate was diagnosed with a chronic disease. As a family, we were still adjusting to Kate’s condition and she was feeling pretty terrible, not to mention depressed, from her ailments. Her eyes lit up when I said yes, we could “just look.”

Among the various adorable dogs and puppies was one grungy, older chihuahua mix who had instantly bonded with Kate.

They were face-to-face the entire time, and my kids pleaded and begged collectively to bring her home. A half hour later, she was ours and we named her Hayley.

We had learned that Hayley had been abused, so much so, in fact, that she literally screamed in horror anytime any one of us picked up our hand to wave or scratch our heads. She also had a deep scar on the top of her head and what looked like healed-over cuts and scratches. Her fur needed serious grooming, and she was not housebroken.

We gave her a bath and a good meal and then immediately after, Kate took charge of Hayley’s issues. When she screeched, Kate comforted her. When she had an accident, Kate walked her to show her the proper potty place. When she just seemed nervous, Kate reassured her, “It’s OK, Hayley,” and followed up with multiple hugs and kisses.

While Hayley surely benefitted from Katelyn’s love, I learned first-hand that there is perhaps nothing better than taking care of a dog, and giving and receiving the unconditional love that only a pup can bring to a sick child (or adult). There was no better remedy for Kate than to care for this abused little dog.

Eight years later, they have helped each other very much to heal. Hayley no longer is afraid of us or anyone else.

In fact, she is the toughest dog I know, having been diagnosed with diabetes and Cushing’s disease over the past year and somehow remaining unabashedly happy. Kate and Hayley are closer than words could convey. It’s been said that we save dogs when we adopt them, but I think we often forget to consider how many dogs actually save us.

Danielle Sullivan, a mom of three, has worked as a writer and editor in the parenting world for more than 10 years. Sullivan also writes about pets and parenting for Disney’s Babble.com. Find Sullivan on her blogs, Just Write Mom and Some Puppy To Love.v

Updated 6:51 pm, October 28, 2016
Top stories:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like New York Parenting on Facebook.

Reader feedback

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not NYParenting.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to NYParenting.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

View the latest issues of our print publications, including Brooklyn Family, Manhattan Family, Bronx/Riverdale Family, Queens Family, and our Special Child magazines

Connect with local moms

Join our Facebook sisterhood, and find moms in your neighborhood for advice, community, and support!

Don’t miss out!

Sign up for our e-newsletter to be the first to know about new contests, hot topics and the best family events.

Optional: Fill out your info and you could win tickets to family friendly shows!