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Nova Gets a Puppy

A little girl named Nova from San Ramon learned this holiday season she’ll be getting the puppy of her dreams, a Labradoodle, this month.

Nova, 4, who has leukemia, got the exciting news of a new cuddly best friend at Macy’s Pleasanton on Dec. 4. She had been selected by Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area to be granted her wish for a puppy on a Wish Wednesday. 

As part of Macy’s annual Believe holiday campaign, the retailer teamed up with Make-A-Wish, a nonprofit organization, to make the wishes of kids’ suffering from critical illnesses come true on Wednesdays throughout the holidays. 

In Nova’s case, said Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area, said  spokesman Ben Feder, she and her family and friends arrived at the Stonebridge Shopping Center at 9 a.m. The animated youngster went to Macy’s where she wrote a letter to Santa Claus requesting a puppy. She then went on a storewide scavenger hunt collecting presents that included everything she’ll need for a new pup — food, bedding, toys, and other pet supplies. It was the jolly old man himself who told the little girl that she’d be getting a real live puppy.

Thanks to puppy party and event planner Puppy Love Party and Underdog Animal Rescue of Lafayette, Nova had a little quality puppy playtime and a surprise puppy education class at the store taught by local puppy trainers. Nova received a “Puppy Expert Certificate” for completing the class. 

Nova and her family have already settled on a name for their new precious pup: Coco.

One of the largest chapters nationwide, Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area has granted over 8,000 wishes in its 17 Northern California counties, and 2019 marked its 35th years of granting wishes. Anyone can suggest a child for a wish, with the consent of the child’s parents. Make-A-Wish has three requirements to qualify for a wish: The child should be over 2½ and under 18 years of age at the time of referral; the child’s physician must certify that the child meets the organization’s medical criteria; and the child has not been granted a wish from a wish-granting organization.

Also this season, Macy’s asked customers of all ages to pen letters to Santa and drop them off in store mailboxes or submit them online at Macys.com/believe. Macy’s pledged to donate $1, up to $1 million, for each letter submitted to Make-A-Wish to help grant more wishes for children like Nova.

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Captions for photos: Nova and her family arrived at Macy’s and embarked on a store scavenger hunt for dog supplies and met Santa who let Nova know she’ll be getting a real puppy. Her wish for a puppy was granted through Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area. Party planner Puppy Love Party and nonprofit Underdog Animal Rescue had a few dogs on hand so Nova could practice her cuddling skills. She earned a certificate that said she’s a puppy expert.

Main article photo by: Photos by Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area