For World Gratitude Day: Why We’re Grateful for Our Dogs

Our writers and editors share the many things dogs do for them. We want you to share yours.

Janine M. Kahn  |  Sep 19th 2014


Sunday is World Gratitude Day, and like any self-respecting pup-centric publication, we’re taking it as our cue to talk about why we’re grateful to have dogs. I invited our writers to share the many reasons they’re grateful for their dogs (both past and present), and they sent me some of the sweetest notes I’ve received in my inbox in ages. We’ll get to those in a little bit — one of the perks of being the one tasked with compiling a roundup like this is I get to go first! And I could write a bloody novel about why I’m grateful for my dog this year.

Last November, I wrote a Thanksgiving post detailing the reasons why I was thankful to have my own pup, Mr. Moxie, in my life. I didn’t think I could get more grateful, having been given the chance to keep him when my then-partner and I called it quits. But then Mox had to go and throw himself out of a third-story window in May. And now, seeing him dance around the apartment with what was a completely mangled leg four months ago, I have new reasons to be grateful. He’s finishing his rehab program, and his leg is finally out of the splint it was in for months. He’s gone from limping to putting weight on his limb, and though he’ll have to wear a brace from now on when he runs at the park, I know I’m going to bawl the day he’s ready for that. I will sometimes pick him up and press his forehead into mine and tell him how thankful and how terribly relieved I am. He is a ridiculous, sweet, one-woman dog, and I am so happy to be that woman.

OK, time for our writers to share their thoughts. And I would love if you do the same below, too.

From Dogster Writer Daisy Barringer:

Monkey is my first-ever dog. Yes, I got a Saint Bernard as my first dog. I live large. So does he. (Literally and metaphorically.) I knew that bringing a dog into my home would be a lot of work, but I don’t think I realized quite how much work. Still, it’s all worth it. The drool, the snoring, the tumbleweeds of hair. I wouldn’t trade any of it, because it’s all part of what makes Monkey, well, Monkey: a goofy, loving, stubborn, clumsy, lazy, loyal pup. Who just so happens to give me purpose every single day. (Even if sometimes that purpose is figuring out how to scoop a massive pile of poop into one tiny plastic bag.) But that face and those kisses … they make it all worth it. Discovering my heart is so much bigger than I ever thought? That’s the biggest gift anyone’s ever given me. I never would have thought it would come from a dog. I’m so lucky to have him in my life and I tell him every day. Via belly rubs, of course.

From Dogster Writer Crystal Gibson:

As an expat in France who has moved around quite a bit, I’m so grateful for my little dog, Pinch. At times, he’s been my only friend, my only company, and the only one I’ve let see me cry when the homesickness got really bad (and I’m grateful to him for licking the tears off my face). I don’t think I could have braved this expat life nearly as well without my little sausage-shaped sidekick, and my love for Pinch is matched only by the gratitude I have for him being in my life.

From Dogster Training Columnist Annie Phenix:

A reporter recently asked me to describe why we have dogs in one word. The word came to me easily: joy. There is no greater reason to have a dog than for the joy they bring to our lives, and they do so with no words -– just tail wags and happy feet. Dogs are joyous about things we have forgotten to be happy about: running outside at full speed or playing with our friends. Something as simple as a small piece of a hot dog makes a dog’s day. Dogs remind me to be in the present moment, to play, to be silly, and to give and accept love freely, without reservations or conditions.

From Dogster Writer Pam Mitchell:

I can’t imagine life without Dolly and Spot. My best friends for more than a decade, they make me smile and laugh and feel unconditionally loved. I am grateful for the excited greeting sweet D. gives me whenever I walk through the front door. I am thankful for the nightly scratchies for which Spotty crawls into my lap. I appreciate every sigh and snuggle, each wet kiss and stinky fart. Dolly and Spot are my loves.

From Dogster Writer Heather Marcoux:

A couple of weeks ago I was really sick. I ended up curling up in a ball on my kitchen floor waiting for my husband to come home. GhostBuster did not leave my side during this time. He stayed with me and licked the back of my head for 20 minutes. I know that’s gross, but I am grateful for my boy’s incredible love and loyalty. Even if it is gross.

From Dogster Writer Melvin Pena:

My last dog, Tina, and I had a comfortable, established routine when she passed away in April. I’ve had my new dog, Idris, for five of her 10 months on Earth, and we still don’t quite mesh; we still haven’t developed a routine that works for both of us. I’m grateful for her all the same. Why? Because Idris teaches me that any relationship worth committing to is worth patient investment.

From Dogster Writer Dawn Taylor-Church:

Dear Chachi, thank you for choosing me. Even from the moment we met, for greeting me with obvious and abundant affection. Everyone else seemed to get low growls, raised lip, sometimes a bark or nip. But always sunshine for me! It’s a mystery why you chose me –- how you knew we were meant to be together –- but thank you.

From Dogster Breed Expert Caroline Coile:

I’m grateful for my dogs, for without them I would never know how to repair drywall, put in a doggy door, sew up a sofa cushion, use a wet-vac, or balance in my sleep with one hand bracing me from being pushed off the bed!

About the Author: Janine is your typical annoying Aries overachiever with nine human siblings and a soft spot for sighthounds. She is a tattoo collector, tea drinker, and unabashedly into marshmallows and cheesy musicals. Janine believes responsible breeders exist — her dog is from one. She runs the show as editor-in-chief of Dogster and Catster.

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