STOCKTON (CBS13) – DeDe was not your average pet. For about a dozen years, she helped Todd and Lori Barger cope with anxiety and depression.

When she disappeared last month, their world crumbled.

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But, a Stockton family was kind enough to reach out after hearing about their heartache.

Joe Trujillo and his wife – already blessed with man’s best friend – found a stray dog on the side of the road recently.

After trying but failing – she wasn’t chipped and didn’t have a tag – to find its owner, they offered her up to Todd and Lori.

“This little dog we got is a dream,” Lori said.

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They named her “Sugar” – and Joe won’t ever forget the sweet introduction.

“And once they met, the bond they had with Lori – Sugar and Lori – just connected right away,” Joe said. “And they were inseparable from the moment they’d seen each other.”

And they still are.

“It came and jumped on my lap and started licking me,” Lori said.

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While not technically a service dog, Todd and Lori say Sugar has already calmed their anxiety.