(MANITOU SPRINGS, Colorado) — At a time of national crisis, heroes come in all shapes and sizes—furry friends included.
Sundance, Karen Evelth’s dog, is helping neighbor Renee Hellman stay safe during the coronavirus pandemic by dropping off groceries at the door of her home in Manitou Springs, Colorado. Hellmen is over 65 and suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which puts her at particularly high risk of severe illness from COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
So Evelth thought of a clever way to help her friend stay safe at home.
“I told her, ‘I don’t want you going anywhere,’” said Evelth. “When I get groceries, I’ll get yours too.”
Each day, Evelth sends her 7-year-old golden retriever, nicknamed Sunny, to pick up Hellmen’s grocery list. Sunny returns a few hours later with bags full of flour, chickens and eggs — all secured by Sunny’s mouth as he trots across the yard.
“She is so happy and grateful to see him every day at her porch,” said Evelth. “Smiling ear to ear every time.”
Evelth explained it took just one day to train Sunny to execute the routine, although he’s been learning to pick things up around her home for years.
“I have some back and feet issues so he’s learned to pick up my purse and shoes and bring them to me,” said Evelth. “He’s a humble hero, I’m so proud of him.”
Evelth added her dog has been doing the grocery runs for weeks and will continue to do so until Hellmen feels it’s safe again to venture out herself.
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