A dog in Colorado is delivering groceries to his elderly neighbor with respiratory problems
via KKTV

A dog in Colorado is doing his part to help during the coronavirus pandemic. Sunny, a golden retriever, has been delivering groceries to his neighbor, Renee, while she self-isolates.

Sunny's owner, Eveleth, and Renee have lived next to each other for over a decade.

Renee has respiratory problems so she uses an oxygen tank. The COVID-19 virus is especially deadly for people with respiratory problems because it creates inflammation and fluid build-up in the lungs.

People with chronic respiratory issues have some of the highest mortality rates from the COVID-19 virus.


The delivery process is simple: Eveleth sends Sunny over to Renee's house to get her shopping list. After Eveleth returns from the store, she gives Sunny the grocery bag and he delivers it next door to Renee.

"She got the list, she gave it to Sunny, Sunny brought it to me," Eveleth told KKTV. "I went to the store, got her her groceries, and he delivered them all to her."

Sunny has been making deliveries to Renee since the virus began to spread in the U.S. a few weeks ago.

"What a wonderful thing, just a sweet thing," Renee said. "So he started doing the schlepping, back and forth. It's been fun, it's been a real treat." Sunny seems to enjoy it, too. Renee gives him the equivalent of a doggy tip after each successful delivery by asking, "Who's a good boy?" and giving him a rub down.

Golden retrievers are bred to be bird dogs so they are great at fetching and returning items to people. The breed is eager to please so they are popular service dogs and often used on search and rescue teams. So delivering groceries comes naturally to dogs like Sunny.

Sunny's regular visits are also a great pick me up for Renee, who lives alone. "Little things like Sunny coming over to visit is nice and it makes you feel good," Renee said. "It's a way of communicating."

Plus, Sunny is safe for Renee to be around because dogs can't get COVID-19 or pass it to humans.

"There is no evidence that a dog, cat or any pet can transmit COVID-19," the World Health Organization said in a statement. "COVID-19 is mainly spread through droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks."

Eveleth hopes that the story of Sunny and Renee gives people something to smile about in these trying times.

"Anybody can do something small, that can be so helpful," she said.

The story of Renee and Sunny is a great example of neighbors helping each other in a crisis. It goes to show that even when people practice social isolation they can also help each other if they get a little creative. It also helps to have an amazing golden retriever like Sunny.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.