As we head into holiday season, we want to share a story about our friend, Sydney, and her rescue dog, Max. Their special bond is a reminder to us all that sometimes the best gift we give, is the one we give to ourselves.\n\nIn 2014, Sydney and her husband Ron were recovering from the loss of their previous rescue dog. At the time, Ron was living with Parkinson's disease and doing relatively well. He and Sydney finally felt ready for the joy and companionship of a new pet, and began to search for a new rescue to join their family\nLike so many of us do, Ron and Sydney fell in love with a sweet little 8-month-old poodle/terrier mix online and drove 90 minutes away to meet what could be their newest family member. Sure enough, their bond was instant, and Max came home to stay.\nTwo days later, everything changed\nUnexpectedly, Ron suffered a serious fall at home, hitting the back of his head on a heavy bookcase and spurring a chain of events over the course of nearly five months that would alter his and Sydney\u2019s lives forever.\nSuddenly, Sydney found herself at the hospital with her husband for days on end, with only a few hours to come home for a quick meal and play time with Max, their brand new puppy. She worried about Ron, she worried about Max, and she shuttled between home and hospital to care for them both. She was running on fumes and feared that her unexpected circumstances would force her to surrender Max to the shelter.\n\nMax new Sydney needed him\nBut as if by some miracle, Max took the circumstances in stride. He seemed to have a deep intuition that Sydney needed him. He took to crate training like a pro, and was so calm and well-behaved that Sydney was able to stay at the hospital for most of the day. She would come home every evening to a tail-wagging, loving, delightful companion who never \u201ccomplained\u201d about her limited time or divided attention.\nOn the contrary, Max never asked anything more of Sydney than she could give at the time. His pure and unconditional love for her gave Sydney a sense of hope and purpose during such a sad time. Unfortunately, Ron never truly recovered, never got to really know Max, and passed away all too soon.\n\u201cEven though I technically rescued Max, he truly saved me in the end,\u201d says Sydney who often reflects upon how easily she could have imploded at that time in her life if she hadn\u2019t had Max to come home to. \u201cHe was just what I needed at the time. He never gave up on me, and I\u2019m so glad I was able to keep him.\u201d\nA cherished gift\nTo thank Max for his loyalty, compassion and intuitive nature, Sydney loves to take her now 5-year-old cotton ball of love on vacation to the California coast where he relishes long walks on the beach - chasing birds and feeling the wind in his fur. She loves spoiling him with treats and loves that the Bully Buddy is one more way that she can keep him safer - because their time together is a cherished gift. \n\u201cI am just so grateful for how much happiness, companionship and purpose this animal has brought to my life,\u201d says Sydney, which proves that sometimes the best gifts don\u2019t come in a package at all.