We know bullying can make kids feel like they don't belong, and like they don’t matter. A Virginia family helped their son overcome that loneliness, and feel worthy again. They adopted a new member of the family, a rescue dog they named Zero.
12-year-old Carson Loveridge of Gainesville explains, "I really felt that I wasn't really liked at school and just since I was at school most of the time, I had this thought in my brain that no one liked me. So, the dog really helped me by showing and by proving that someone really did love me. And he helped get rid of that feeling of being unwanted or not liked."
Now, Loveridge says he knows better, and Zero has helped him to see that, "He's very loyal, like he won't run away from you, or go away from you. He'll stick with you when you're sad or you need him.
Zero helps inspire partly because of the unconditional love he shares, and partly because of what he's been through. When he was just a puppy, he was hit by a car, and one of his rear legs had to be amputated.
Carson shares, "Having a dog that's disabled who went through a really hard challenge when he was just a young puppy, [shows] even though he's really hurt and stuff, he's still really happy, and that shows that no matter how hurt you are and how broken you are, you can still be very happy."
And if you’re wondering where they got the name from? Carson explains, "I am a huge crazy fanatic of the movie, The Nightmare Before Christmas and the dog in that movie is named Zero and I think this dog actually looks a lot like Zero."
Carson's happiness spills over to the entire family. In fact, the Loveridge's were so grateful, they entered their story into a contest. They won. The Petco Foundation gave $10,000 to the animal shelter Zero came from. It's A Forever Home Rescue Foundation out of Virginia. Their gratitude can now potentially save other dogs and help other families find a forever friend to show them unconditional love too.