BATH, Maine — Ten-year-old Cameron Pinkham unwrapped some pretty fantastic presents Christmas morning, among them a giant toy Rudolph and a computer tablet, to keep him busy during the long days he’ll spend at Maine Medical Center recovering from his next surgery.
But nothing topped watching Jack, his new, three-month-old chihuahua mix, sniff out his new home at the Pinkhams’ Denny Street apartment, and then snuggle in for some love.
Jack was delivered to the Pinkham family just after 8:30 a.m. Christmas by Coastal Humane Society volunteer Sue Swanson and her daughters, Lynn and Elizabeth.
“He’s you guys’ super special present,” dad David Pinkham announced to Cameron and his brother, four-year-old Joshua, as mom, Rebecca Pinkham, tried to corral the puppy. “He’s going to live here!”
Cameron has been quite sick this year with ulcerative colitis, his parents said, and spent 32 days in the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center. He will have two more surgeries in 2014.
In March, the Pinkhams’ 12-year-old dog, Jack, died. David and Rebecca knew they needed to find a new puppy for the boys soon.
After the two chased balls into the presents heaped under the Christmas tree, they toured the small apartment. Then Jack stood on his hind legs.
“I just taught him to stand up!” Cameron said.
Coastal Humane Society in Brunswick found homes for 14 puppies rescued in Puerto Rico this fall. The dogs — known in Puerto Rico as “Sato,” or street dogs — made the long trip to Maine the week of Thanksgiving.
Many of the puppies went home Sunday, but Sparrow offered to deliver Cameron and Joshua’s surprise on Christmas Day.
Resting for a bit, Cameron sat on the couch and Jack crawled over his shoulder.
“He just gave me a kiss,” Cameron said, smiling.