Dog Delivers Groceries To Quarantined Neighbor

The 7-year-old pup is bringing supplies (and smiles) to others during the crisis.

As people all over the country are staying in their homes to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, community members are coming up with creative ways to assist their neighbors in need.

And it's not just humans who are doing the helping.

Renee Hellman of Manitou Springs, CO has been relying on a furry friend to get her groceries during the crisis. Hellman, 71, has some health issues and requires an oxygen tank to breathe, so she's been self-isolating to avoid getting sick.

"I have COPD and heart problems — all the things that they say people of my age are susceptible to the coronavirus. I have basically spent the last three weeks in my house," Hellman told CNN.

Renee Hellman has been self-isolating in her home to avoid catching the coronavirus. KKTV-11

Lucky for her, Sundance, or "Sunny," the golden retriever lives next door, and he's been visiting Hellman every couple of days to get her grocery list. Sundance gives the list to his owner, Karen Eveleth, who has lived next door to Hellman for over a decade.

They thought of the idea of having Sunny fetch the grocery list so that the two wouldn't have to interact with each other and risk spreading the virus. When Eveleth returns from the store, Sundance, with a bit of motivation of a duck jerky treat, trots over to Hellman's door with the bag of groceries in his mouth.

Sundance the golden retriever has been delivering groceries to Renee Hellman since the crisis started. KKTV-11

Sunny has delivered 8-pound chickens, bags of flour, vegetables and even plastic bowls to Hellman during the crisis.

"[Hellman] got the list, she gave it to Sunny, Sunny brought it to me," Eveleth told KKTV-11. "I went to the store, got her groceries, and he delivered them all to her."

Sunny has been fetching Hellman's grocery list for weeks now, and she says his visits give her something to look forward to.

"Little things like Sunny coming over to visit is nice, and it makes you feel good," she said. "It's a way of communicating."

Eveleth says that Sunny's kindness extends beyond delivering groceries.

"He is a humble hero," she said. "When he hears something drop, he knows I've got to get that for mom because I have a bad back. He also gets the mail. I have the carrier leave the box open."

Karen Eveleth says she got the idea for Sunny to be a delivery dog after she saw a news story about a dog comforting hospital patients. KKTV-11

She says she got the idea to have Sunny help Hellman with her groceries after she saw a news story about a dog comforting people at a hospital in Denver.

"I thought, 'Wait a second, I have a dog that could help,'" Eveleth said.

And while Hellman says that other neighbors have been checking in on her, she says she looks forward to visits from Sundance the most.

"What a wonderful thing, just a sweet thing," Hellman said. "So he started doing the schlepping, back and forth. It's been fun, it's been a real treat."

The neighbors say they hope the story makes people smile during the crisis. As for Sunny? He's just in it for the head scratches – and the duck jerky treats, of course.

How can you start something good?

Inspired by this sweet act of kindness?

We can all do our part to help each other during the coronavirus crisis.

Check in on your neighbors, especially if they're elderly and live alone. Offer to do their grocery shopping for them or pick up their medications.

Reach out to friends and family members. A quick phone call to say hello can help reduce stress, both for you and the person on the other end!

Be kind. Sounds simple, but one of the best (and easiest!) ways to support your fellow humans is to be gracious with your actions. Smile, wave hello, give when you can – we're all in this together, might as well spread the love!

Let's #StartSomethingGood together.

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