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I am thankful for my rescue or shelter dog because …

I asked 15 dog lovers to fill in the blank:

“I am thankful for my rescue/shelter dog because …”

Here’s what they had to say.

Rachel Grant and Kia

Kia and Rachel

“ … because she constantly reminds me to be grateful for all the things we can take for granted – the sun, the grass, a home. Kia had a rough start in life but it doesn’t show at all – she really enjoys every moment of being alive. I just love that!”

Richard McAfee and his coonhound April Mae


“ … because I suffer from PTSD as a result of my deployment, and she has the ability to calm me and my world. She has the ability to sense what is happening to me and will come up to me and stay with me to make it better.”

JoMarie Hoholik and her border collie mix Sorella

JoMarie and Sorella

“ … because she has brought so much joy to our family’s life. She has trained for half marathons with me, snuggles with me in the winter when my husband was deployed and overseas, and she chose our newest dog, April Mae, who has been a great comfort to my husband after he returned from his deployment.”

Tatianna Creese and her pitbull mix Hazel

Tatianna and Hazel (2)

“ … because she is constantly making me smile and feeling so loved. Every day I come home to a bunch of kisses, and I couldn’t be more grateful she’s in my life! I love her so much.”

Damion Sanders and his Chihuahua Waxey Gordon

Damion and Waxey Gordon1 (1)

“ … because he filled a major void in my life after the devastating loss of my 12-year-old cat Zoe. My life is so much richer for having him. I honestly don’t know what I would do without him.”

Mark Litwa and his Lab mix Parker

Mark and Parker

“I am thankful for my shelter dog because he helps me meet new people and get more exercise.”

Yvonne & Jason Harper and their Chihuahua mix Bramble

Bramble, Yvonne & Jason

“I am thankful for my rescue dog because she makes us a family.” – Yvonne

Sue Reninger and her border collie Boone

Reninger, Sue and Boone

“ … because Boone is my best friend. She lives and works with me daily, managing my stress as well as that of the entire agency. In fact, her business card reads, ‘Director of Stress Management.’ And, she’s great at her job.”

Matt Hallisy and his golden retriever Kenji

Matt and Kenji

“I am thankful for my rescue dog because he has really made everything I do better. He loves imitating me when I do yoga. He also is extremely smart, so much so that I can usually just have a regular human conversation with him and he understands most of what I talk about.”

Teresa Rhyne and her beagles Percival and Daphne

Teresa Rhyne

“ … because he (Percival) taught me about animal testing and is a constant reminder to shop cruelty free.”

Percival (left) was rescued by Beagle Freedom Project from a laboratory that tests on animals, according to Rhyne.

Jeff & Linda Logan and their golden retriever mix Dixie

Linda Logan and Dixie

“ … because each day she shows me the light that she demonstrated the first day that we met at the shelter. We went outside on a leash, she promptly sat down right in front of me to be petted, I knelt down and she gave me her paw for a shake!” – Jeff

Siobhan Hanlin and her collie mix Molly


“ … because she is my companion. Through traumatic breakups, redundancy, and all the difficult early days of setting up my business, she was there and I couldn’t fail because she was counting on me. “

Dennis Kowaleuski and his pitbull mix Ottis


“ … because he’s always there for me. Ottis goes to work with me every day, and he cuddles me to sleep at night, and even though he’s always with me he still gets excited when I look at him and he still melts my heart just like the first time I met him.”

Shari Czar and her Lab mix Tyler

Shari and Tyler

“ … because every day he reminds me that there are new things to discover – he always finds new things to sniff! And that happiness can be found in something as simple as coming home and being met at the door.”

Nina Parr and her Australian cattle dog mix Sadie

Nina and Sadie

“ … because she makes me laugh every single day. From the moment we met, I knew she was going to be a special dog, and she certainly lives up to that expectation.”

How about the rest of you? Why are you thankful for your dog?

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Wednesday 25th of November 2020

I am grateful for our rescue Frank because he completes our family. He has such a personality and follows me around like my shadow. He’s the best!

Lindsay Stordahl

Wednesday 25th of November 2020

He sounds like such a good boy!

Kimberly Gauthier

Saturday 29th of November 2014

This is a truly amazing post. Love the pictures. I'm thankful for the peace our dogs bring to me every day.

Lindsay Stordahl

Saturday 29th of November 2014

Thank you, Kimberly!

Jen Gabbard

Friday 28th of November 2014

Such an inspirational post; it's so lovely to see how grateful these owners are. It's so great to see that they're shelter animals as well; some of the often overlooked gems. I was thinking a lot yesterday about how grateful I am to have Laika. And even more so than other dogs because her behavioral issues have made me learn so much; it makes all out successes so much sweeter.

dennis kowaleuski

Thursday 27th of November 2014

this made me cry happy tears


Monday 24th of November 2014

Have you ever seen a dog owner who isn't smiling with their dogs? I am so thankful for both my dogs and how well they are getting along! It makes adding a third here in a month not so bad. And even though how we got Missy is sad, I am so glad CV wanted her. I think she's helped D.O.G., and I know he's helped her a lot!