Brynn and her dog Biggie won the 2024 Petco Love Stories campaign with an essay about their friendship
Brynn and Biggie are inseparable best friends, and it's been that way since they met.
"Biggie was my best friend from the first day — he just didn't know that yet," 10-year-old Brynn tells PEOPLE about when she and her rescue dog formed a special bond.
Brynn met Biggie over 2 years ago when her family adopted the canine from Three Little Pitties Rescue, which saves homeless pets in Texas and then transports them to forever families across the country.
"When he came off the truck, he just looked like a goofball with a lot of wrinkles, crooked legs, and droopy eyes. He made me smile," Brynn adds of her first moments with the dog, who she describes as a "bulldog mocktail" —part English bulldog, part French bulldog, and part pit bull.
Biggie also arrived with a few health issues. Over the past few years, Brynn and her family have helped the bulldog mix heal and filled his life with fun and adventure.
Brynn memorialized her touching relationship with her pet in a sweet entry to Petco Love's 2024 Love Stories campaign.
For the past 25 years, the Love Stories campaign has asked animal lovers to send in tales about how their rescue pets have changed their lives. Each year, a selection of entries are chosen as winners, earning the writers grants for the animal welfare organizations mentioned in their essays.
In commemoration of 25 years of the Love Stories Campaign, Petco Love, in partnership with BOBS from Skechers, awarded 25 grants totaling $500,000 in 2024. Brynn's entry about Biggie led the list of winners, earning the campaign's grand prize: a $100,000 grant for Three Little Pitties Rescue, a Petco shopping spree, and a year's supply of Yummers pet products.
"I was so excited when I heard we won the Grand Prize! I actually didn't believe it at first. I am really grateful that Petco Love chose my essay and that the prize money will help a lot more 'Biggies,' Brynn says about the win. "I think Biggie loves all the attention, treats, and cuddles he has been getting from everyone he meets during this process! He is a diva!"
Brynn started her winning essay with an honest look at how Biggie arrived.
"He came from Texas to us on a big rescue truck! When he got here, he was really sick and skinny. He needed two surgeries and lots of treats. I was worried he was so sick he was going to die. He didn't know I was going to love him no matter what," Brynn wrote in her essay, adding, "Luckily, with a lot of hard work, we healed him. Biggie is now basically an 80-lb. potato on legs."
The 10-year-old tells PEOPLE the secret to Biggie's recovery was simply TLC.
"It was just us feeding him properly and staying on his recovery from surgery and medicine. He gained all the weight he needed to. That's how he went from a 55-lb. skinny noodle to an 80-lb. XL potato," she says
Brynn and her family also worked with Biggie on his obedience skills since the canine, who is now 6, acted quite chaotically when he first arrived at the girl's house.
"We just kept repeating teachings over and over and offering a lot of treats and cuddles and love when he did good things! The first time he did 'sit' and 'stay' on his bed, we had a dance party after! I think Biggie just needed time to realize that my family wasn't going to throw him away," Brynn explains.
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Today, Biggie is healthy and mostly well-behaved.
"Biggie has made my life better by bringing more fun into the house and adding all kinds of energy. For example, he loves unrolling the toilet paper rolls in all our bathrooms for fun! He will TP the whole house sometimes. He mostly adds a lot of cuddles and smiles to my day," Brynn says.
"He is really silly and lazy now. He likes to play, but he likes to relax 15 hours a day, too. I think he knows that he can count on me now, and he loves me back," she adds.
Brynn and her family hope Biggie's story and the Petco Love Stories campaign inspire others to adopt a pet.
"People should adopt pets because there are a lot of animals like Biggie who need a family and home to love them," Brynn adds.
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