A San Diego family captured the heartwarming moment they brought their newborn daughter home from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and their pup’s tender reaction to meeting his new sister.
Proton Cho the Golden Retriever was all wags and curiosity upon meeting the newest member of his family, Ella Jo. In a sweet video recorded by proud parents Yumi and Stanislav “Stas” Cho, Proton steps outside the family’s home and swiftly drops a toy from his mouth upon spotting his new sister. Guided by Stas via leash, Proton approaches Ella as she naps in her carrier.
Observing the newborn for some time, Proton sniffs Ella, cocks his head at her gentle movements and then slowly lays next to her. He then showcases how good of a babysitter he’ll be by softly rocking Ella’s carrier with his nose.
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“Proton is our first-born and Ella’s big brother,” Yumi said in a video posted by UC San Diego Health.
Ella was born on Nov. 30, 2021 at 29 weeks. She spent a couple of months in the NICU at the Jacobs Medical Center at UC San Diego Health before arriving home earlier this week.
To prepare Proton for the exciting, big moment, the new parents introduced Ella’s scent to the goldie by giving him her used clothes and blankets.
“We would bring her clothes and give it to him to kind of familiarize the scent and he would just stay there for 15 to 20 minutes slowly sniffing and licking and enjoying and relaxing, very calm,” Stas recalled. “He has a couple of holes in a couple of blankets because he got carried away but I think he really enjoys her scent and he probably knows something is happening and that she’ll be coming home soon.”
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To take it a step further, Stas and Yumi would take Proton on walks outside the medical center often while Ella got the care she needed inside.
“He sees the campus, he sees the health area and it’s just a lovely, well-manicured place,” Stas said of their frequent visits. “It’s just relaxing to be around, especially on a sunny day. I talked to him (and said), ‘Your mom is up there, your little sister is up there, as well.’”
Now all together at home, the Cho family is celebrating the arrival of baby Ella and Proton’s recent success in the Canine Good Citizen (CGC) exam. Yumi explained they gave their pup his name because they hope he can go into therapy work and thought “Proton” would be a good indicator that he radiates positivity.
"We’re thankful for UC San Diego Health and for all of their help and support throughout our two-month stay here,” Yumi said. “They have really taken care of us like we never would have imagined.”
You can keep up with Proton and his adventures via his Instagram page, here.