6-Year-Old Boy Saves To Buy Puppy, Then Grandparents Tell Him To Hold Out His Hands

Sep 17, 2021 by apost team

For those of us who had a childhood pet while we were growing up, we know the immense joy that comes along with taking care of your first dog or cat. They mature alongside you and become part of your family. It’s no surprise that many children want this experience: to have a four-legged companion who will be with them through thick and thin.

Back in 2019, a then 6-year-old Xander Mellor got that wish while visiting his grandparents' house in Springfield, Illinois.

In the video recorded by his mother, Natalie Ellenburg, we see Xander open the front door, thinking that the mailman has arrived. “Let’s go look,” Ellenburg says in the video.

Ellenburg then tells Xander to keep his eyes “closed, super closed.” Suddenly, someone places a puppy in his arms, and Xander opens his eyes.

With a genuine look of surprise, Xander seems overwhelmed with excitement and joy. 

“What do you think?” Ellenburg asks.

Xander says he “loves it” before bursting into tears.

The boy’s family surprised him with a puppy after he saved spare change for over 18 months to afford the dog, which he later named Marshmallow. 

Xander’s story has spread like wildfire across the internet since it hit the web back in 2019. On YouTube, one upload of the video has more than 150,000 views, and popular news outlets like the Daily Mail also picked up Xander’s story. And we aren’t surprised because no matter how cynical or jaded you may be, this video is bound to make even the grumpiest among us smile.

Be sure to reach the end of this article to see the full video :-)

Apost.com readers certainly enjoyed the video.

“So precious! 💕💕💕,” Linda Boulais commented in response to an earlier version of this story.

“He just got the best gift ever. I think he is really happy about it. Do you? ❤️” apost.com reader Glennis Kuhn wrote.

What makes Xander’s story even sweeter is that he made an effort to save up for the dog rather than just relying on his parents to spoil him.

“Whenever I got back from work, I'd empty my pockets and give him all the change left from the day,” Ellenburg told the Daily Mail of her son’s savings.

“However, he did not know he was going to get his puppy so soon as I'd told him we needed to fill one more jar.  This is the first puppy we've ever had and we've named him Marshmallow, Mello for short,” she added.

It’s no secret that we humans love and adore our puppies. But did you know that when you bring physical contact with a puppy into your life, it has concrete health advantages? When you pet or play with a puppy, it triggers an influx of oxytocin, says Psychology Today. The hormone oxytocin is produced by the hypothalamus and has a calming effect. It is also known as the “love drug” because it gives you a feeling of being loving and tranquil and also plays a role in social bonding.

Contact with humans also has a major benefit for the puppy itself, according to Fetch by WebMD. Very young canines tend to be on edge.


Additionally, you may not know it from their behavior, but canine puppies feel a lot of stress daily, even in a very positive, safe environment.

Physical contact with their human or humans alleviates that edge and can keep them from getting stressed. However, there are specific ways to touch a puppy to alleviate stress and give them a happy, more cheerful life.

Canines, both puppies and adults, like to be touched or petted on the chest, shoulder and along their spine at the base of the tail, according to Vet Street.

This is true for pretty much all dogs. Your specific dog may have favorite spots of its own. For example, many dogs like to be scratched between the ears or at the base of their necks.

A lot of dogs also like their belly rubbed. Most dogs will also move away when you try and touch certain spots such as their tails, paws or ears. When you must touch those spots, such as to clip nails, try petting one of your pooch’s preferred spots simultaneously.

Petting is also a great way to encourage good behavior. While many dog owners give their dog verbal praise when they do something good or follow a command, studies show that dogs favor petting more than they do verbal praise, according to Companion Animal Psychology. The example this sets for the child is another reason to consider a pup when you have a child.

A then 6-year-old Xander Mellor from Springfield, Illinois, had saved up his change for nearly 18 months to buy a puppy when he received an incredible surprise one day when his grandparents stopped by for a visit. Check out this video of Xander’s absolutely adorable reaction to his surprise puppy!

What do you think about having a puppy grow up with your young child or baby? The benefits have been proven, yet some parents are still hesitant. Pass this information along to anyone who might be on the fence, or just pass along this priceless video of Xander’s reaction to his new pup!

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