When Christine Coppa’s son, Jack, started to beg her for a brother or sister, she didn’t now what to do. As a single mom, a sibling for Jack was out of the cards.

“Everyone has a brother and a sister but me,” Jack would say, stomping his foot on the ground.


Coppa knew this wasn’t true, as many of Jack’s friends were only children too. But Jack was insistent, and Coppa had fond memories of growing up with her own two brothers. They would play together and keep one another company. Even as adults, the three siblings talked every day. She felt guilty not being able to provide that kind of companionship to her son. So, she started to think of a solution. Eventually, she came up with the perfect pseudo-sibling … a dog!

A few days later, Coppa adopted a female golden retriever puppy. She stopped by Petco to get all the necessary puppy supplies and went to Jack’s school to introduce him to his new sister.

He was, obviously, incredibly excited for the addition to the family. They agreed to call her Lucy.

“The first couple of days were filled with puppy pee, crying in the crate at 2 a.m., razor sharp teeth nipping, lots of kisses and cuddles — and a lot more mischief.,” writes Coppa on Yahoo! Parenting. “Lucy quickly fell in love with Jack’s stuffed Spiderman (not so cool with Jack) and my Tory Burch flip flops (not so cool with me).”


Jack was happy that he wasn’t the only one to get disciplined, and Lucy taught the young boy to share. Just like many brothers and sisters, they became best friends.

But like all brothers and sisters, Jack and Lucy bickered and fought over things. Coppa recounts how Lucy ate a picture that Jack had drawn, provoking tears from the boy. She also fondly remembers how proud Jack was of Lucy, happily bringing her along for all his adventures.

“Still, Jack and Lucy do nearly everything together: Play basketball, watch TV (they love Homeward Bound I and II), nap, hike — you name it,” writes Coppa. “They trip over each other, they are so close. He tells her secrets too.”

Lucy also provided some much needed comfort to Coppa as well.


“As a single mom, Lucy keeps me company, too — and it really is nice not being so alone in the evenings anymore. And when I got sick with cancer, she was one of the biggest comforts, sensing I was ill and never leaving my side,” she writes.

Lucy just turned one and she has proven that a dog can make the greatest sibling. She has provided Jack with all the love and companionship he was missing from being a single child and has made herself an integral member of this little family.


All image source: Christine Coppa/Life With Dogs