The Story of an Adopted Pet Dog Who Adopted His Own Pet Dog

Updated: Nov. 07, 2022

Whoobie loved his owner so much, he thought it might be fun to have a little pet of his own.

Editor’s Note: America’s Best Pet Pals is a nationwide search for the animal friendships that make you laugh, cry, and purr. Reader’s Digest will be honoring the best in pet friendship in print, online, and on social media. This is a finalist in our “Rainbow Bridge” category. Scroll to the bottom to cast your vote for Whoobie. To see our full list of finalists, go to and vote in each category.

Whoobie was the smartest dog I have ever known. He was quick to learn tricks: all the typical ones like sit, lay down, roll over, and stay. Then he learned to shut doors and drawers. He danced on request. He could find any toy by name. If I said “run,” he would. If I told him we were having a visitor soon, he would sit at the window and wait, then howl with excitement when he heard the vehicle pull up. At the dog park, he was, of course, the sheriff. He would hear dogs fighting and run to break them up. I would yell, “Whoobie! This doesn’t concern you!” But off he’d go.

He loved to swim more than anything, and also loved to fetch. I would drop the ball on the ground and tell him no, put it in my hand. And he would. Once, the pond was full of toads, and he went around tapping them on the head like it was whack-a-toad. He loved to be a clown. He even loved the Halloween outfits I’d put on him—just happy to have the attention. He was my perfect friend, but I was not his only friend.

One day, Whoobie and I were napping together and woke up to a dog barking outside the window. I looked out the window, and this little brown dog was looking back at me. I have a high fenced-in yard, and the gate was locked. I have no idea how he got in. Whoobie and I went outside, but he was too afraid to come to me. I got him to eat a bit, but he’d still back away from me. I tried and failed for an hour to get him, assuming someone must be looking for him. Finally, I just left the front door open and he followed Whoobie inside. From then on, he always followed Whoobie.

It was like Whoobie had his own little pet. No one ever claimed the little Chihuahua, so I adopted him, but he was Whoobie’s dog. And so, Juan joined the family. The poor little guy must’ve been abandoned and put over my fence. He was not very trusting of people, but quickly became Whoobie’s friend. Several times I saw Whoobie with an arm around Juan. Juan was safe at the dog park too. No one messed with Juan when his brother was the sheriff. They even shared a bed at night.

Whoobie was several years older than Juan, and as we know, all good dogs go to heaven. Juan came with us to the veterinarian to say our final goodbye to Whoobie. When Whoobie took his last breath, Juan laid down next to Whoobie. He seemed to know his friend was gone. I picked up Juan, tears streaming down my cheeks. Juan and I only have each other now. We were heartbroken together. When I think about Whoobie, I want his memories to make me smile, but even two years later, I just want him back.