The impact that animals have on our lives is incredible. Even if you never had a pet growing up, you probably made a special connection with an animal. Maybe it was your grandparents’ dog who followed you everywhere and always acted like you were their favorite person. Maybe you made friends with a friendly outdoor cat in your neighborhood who always knew that they could come to you for chin scratches. Or, hey, maybe the fact that you know there’s a dog at the house party you were invited to is the real reason you decide to make an appearance — believe us, we’ve been there.
In spite of the fact that we don’t speak the same language, we are able to make powerful connections with animals that can change our lives and sometimes, the lives of others, too. That’s what happened when Sandi Swirnoff, foster grandmother to three-year-old Buddy (not his real name) and pet parent to Reagan, the child and the dog in the photos below, realized how wonderful their friendship was.
According to Swirnoff in a video for NBC News, “there was an instant bond. They just loved each other from day one.”
After seeing how much Reagan the dog helped Buddy, Swirnoff wanted to find a way to help other foster children.
So, she compiled a photo book that showcased the love shared between the two. All the proceeds will go to Foster Parents’ Night Out, a non-profit organization that supports foster caregivers.
According to Foster Club, there are over 400,000 youth living in foster care in the United States and over 100,000 are up for adoption.
Unfortunately, youth who leave foster care are more likely than others to never finish high school, experience homelessness and unemployment, and face problems such as drug and alcohol dependency.
Which is why we’re so glad that the friendship between Buddy and Reagan will be able to make life better for other foster children.
It’s amazing how Swirnoff was able to use this very special, very adorable friendship for a greater cause. Not only does it speak volumes to what a joy it can be to foster a child, it also shows how an animal companion can help them open up. If you’ve been thinking about adopting a pet and you have a child, read How to Keep Kids and Pets Safe Together and 20 Reasons Why It Is Important to Raise Kids Around Animals.
To learn more about Foster Parents’ Night Out, visit their official website.
All image source: reagandoodle/Instagram