Everyone deserves to splurge on a special birthday gift for themselves. Some people might head to a favorite department store, while others — like Sue— find themselves at dog rescues or adoption events.

Sometimes, Birthday Gifts Pick YOU Out

Last December, the Missouri woman visited a local pet retailer for her dog's grooming appointment. Little did she know she'd leave the store with a new family member.

"He was one of the only puppies there, and he was so adorable and fuzzy that we just had to hold him. Our intent was just to hold a puppy for a while, but when they got him out and we saw that he had an injured leg, he melted my heart," Sue told Petcentric about her first encounter with Trax, her newly adopted puppy.

A Ruff Start

Trax didn't have a picture-perfect puppyhood. A witness had seen the mixed-breed puppy thrown from a car window. The dog landed near a set of railroad tracks, breaking one of his legs in two places.

But Trax had an angel watching over him that day. The witness took the injured puppy to one of the local dog rescues, which offered veterinary care and a foster home. When Sue saw the resilient dog available for adoption, she just couldn't walk away.

"He was so calm and loving and soft, and just felt right at home as we passed him around. I justified it by saying that it was almost my birthday and that if I wanted a puppy, I could get a puppy," Sue explained.

A New Life Awaits

Little Trax (aptly named after his ordeal) weighs a mere 7.5 lbs at an estimated 17 weeks old, and appears to be part long-hair Chihuahua, part miniature Australian Shepherd.

Trax spends his days sleeping, exploring, and playing with chew toys. But, according to Sue, Trax also enjoys daily playtime with his canine siblings: Milo, a Maltese Poodle; Lily, a Chihuahua-Shih Tzu mix; and Gizmo, a Pomeranian.

For Sue and her family, adding Trax to the pack was a simple decision. But for Gizmo (Gizzy for short), Trax is the younger brother he's always needed.

"Gizzy came to us with very little knowledge of how to play and no interest whatsoever in dog toys. Since Trax has been 'asking' him to play, we have seen Gizzy show more playing behaviors and interactions with dog things. We think that Trax has helped remind Gizzy of what it was like to be a puppy and participate in the pack. Once Trax expels a couple hours of crazy energy, he falls fast asleep on someone's lap," Sue noted.

Sometimes, that coveted warm spot is next to Sue at Nestlé Purina PetCare, where she tends to her tasks as Director for the Digital Centers of Excellence, and where canines are welcome office mates.

One thing's for sure — Sue wasn't the only one who got a present for her birthday last year!