Nico was thrilled as well, Veronica Barillas said. "We sifted through all the presents when we got home," she said. "He was so excited opening them. He was so much more excited when he opened these dog things than he was at Christmas."
The Barillas donated the gifts to Addicus' Legacy, a rescue organization that has saved hundreds of dogs from high-kill shelters in Texas. "Addicus is so lucky to have supporters like 9-year-old Nico," Amy Stanton, who helps run the group, told The Dodo. "He is an extraordinary child and embodies a giving spirit that is an inspiration to both young and old."
Sampson, a lab mix who lives in an Austin-area foster home, was one of the dogs to receive Nico's gifts. The ball-chasing, friendly, 3-year-old pooch was quite happy to chomp on some of the donations, according to Stanton. (Sampson can be adopted in the Austin area or in New England, where the rescue transports dogs to new homes.)