A Texas teenager who gave up Christmas gifts to adopt a dog was wowed this holiday season when strangers reached out to give her the gifts she sacrificed.
Taryn Brooks, 15, saw a post about Eddie the dachshund mix in mid-November and knew she had to adopt the pup. At the time, his outlandish behavior was scaring the other dogs, so the shelter made a hilarious online plea for someone to step up and take him in.
The teenager’s mother, Linda Brooks, told her if she adopted the dog, she’d have to give up a few Christmas gifts on her list this year.
The teen decided Eddie, who turned out to be quite snuggly despite his fiery personality, was worth more than the all-white high-top Converse and hair curling wand she wanted for Christmas, so she made the deal with her mom.
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After the mom and daughter a made a social media page for Eddie and shared their story, followers jumped in to buy her the gifts she gave up.
“I was scrolling through Facebook on Eddie’s account and a lot of people were DMing me about the sizes and what kind of hair curler and stuff like that,” Taryn told USA TODAY.
Teen has already received some gifts in the mail, she said
She has already received her curling wand, body scrubs and a harness for Eddie (since he’s quite the escape artist and regular leashes aren’t enough to keep him close to his new owner on walks).
Taryn also has Converse and Nikes on the way in the mail. People are also sending supplies that can be donated to local animal shelters, she said.
“It’s crazy,” Taryn said. “We’re so thankful for everything they’re sending … and we’re thankful for them sending stuff for Eddie and the shelters.”
Even the teen’s mom is getting gifts from strangers.
Someone commented on Eddie’s Facebook page to say they wanted to get her Converse. Taryn told the person she already has some on the way but suggested getting some for her mom because she’s the reason they were able to adopt Eddie in the first place.
She approved the adoption and drove her a few hours away to pick him up.
“It’s amazing,” Linda said. “There are still good hearts out there.”
Teenager is independent, giving and pretty frugal
Linda said the gifts mean a lot to the family, especially her daughter who is cautious about making purchases and is always looking for a bargain. She once took her daughter to the mall to shop and recalled her saying she could find cheaper stuff online.
Taryn has a “heart of gold” and her mom wishes more teenagers were selfless like her, she said. Taryn is using Eddie’s Facebook page to lift up animal shelters who need help. She pushes followers to adopt instead of buying dogs from pet stores.
Taryn loves TikTok, animals, spending time with friends and families and she’s her mom’s mini me, Linda said.
She has her mom’s strong will and Linda has passed down lessons her mother taught her as a kid.
“My mom taught me that you don’t need a man in your life. You want a man in your life,” Linda said. “You figure out how to do things and if you can’t, then you ask for help. Just be a strong, independent woman.”
She said it touches her heart that people read Eddie and Taryn’s story and wanted to help make Taryn’s Christmas even more special.
“To see what she gave up and to even have the thought … they wanted to bless her,” Linda said.
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More on the teen’s new pup, Eddie
Eddie is adapting well to his new home, but can still be a bit mischievous, the family shared.
“We need some training,” Linda said, noting his tendency to take off. “As soon as the door opens, he’s gone.”
But otherwise, the pup is doing great. Taryn makes sure he has his baths and the pair cuddle all the time. If she’s not home, he’s at her door waiting for her to emerge, Linda said.
Eddie already has nearly 40,000 followers on Facebook.
One social media user created a tumbler with a picture of Eddie on it, as well as a Christmas ornament. Eventually the products will be sold and proceeds will go to animal shelters. There are also T-shirts and stickers.
“There are some awesome people out there. Let me tell you,” Linda said.