How Rescue Dogs Say “Thank You”

Here's all the ways that rescue dogs say "thank you" for all of your support and kindness.

Photography by: ©StephaneHachey | Getty Images
Photography by: ©StephaneHachey | Getty Images

A rescue dog can find himself suddenly sprung from his cell and moved to a place with soft beds and softer laps all in the span of 24 hours. It’s like hitting the lottery and getting released from prison all on the same day — pretty overwhelming.

It’s a lot to take in for any dog, but when the dust settles and they realize they’ve gone from shelter pet to pampered pet, they’re forever grateful to the human who busted them out of lockup.

Here are 10 ways our dogs say, “Thanks for rescuing me.”

1.With their mouths

Our dogs can’t speak, but when you look into the open mouth of a peaceful pooch who is drooling onto your freshly laundered pillow, you can hear the words as clearly as you can see the river of saliva: “I’m so thankful.”

2.With their paws

Your dog knows you rescued him, and he’s bound and determined to rescue you from a sedentary lifestyle. He doesn’t know what magical force moved him from the shelter floor to your couch, but he knows he’s the force that’s gotta get you off it and out for a walk. With each paw step down the sidewalk, he’s saying, “I’m so grateful for this new life, and I can’t let this human get heart disease.”

3.With their eyes

Photography by: ©Mexitographer | Getty Images
Photography by: ©Mexitographer | Getty Images

The first time you saw them they were downcast and forlorn, and now those bright puppy eyes light up when you walk in the front door and get even bigger when you walk into the kitchen. You might mistake this for begging, but it’s really gratitude. Nobody ever dropped food at the shelter, and your dog is so grateful to be adopted by someone as clumsy as you.

4.By detailing your car

Your dog will never forget his first ride in your car; the one that took him away from the shelter and to his cushy new home. That’s why he makes sure to clean up your car each time he climbs in. He proves his gratitude by vacuuming up every dropped french fry his nose can find.

5.By protecting the castle

Photography by: ©yellowsarah | Getty Images
Photography by: ©yellowsarah | Getty Images

When you go from sleeping in a concrete cell to sleeping on a California King, there’s really only one explanation: “I’ve been adopted by royalty,” your dog decides. And to show his gratitude, he vows to alert you to any intruder attempts. Those Amazon boxes could contain a Trojan horse, and by barking to warn you of this threat he is saying, “I’m so thankful to be a royal pet.”

6.With their tongue

You get out of the shower and before you can even pull on a towel your thankful pooch is licking every drop of water off your legs. With each lick, he’s saying: “Let me dry your legs the way you dried my sad eyes.”

7.By denying you privacy

Photography by: ©cmannphoto | Getty Images
Photography by: ©cmannphoto | Getty Images

Speaking of the bathroom, you may not love how your dog follows you into the bathroom every time you go, but he’s not trying to make you uncomfortable, he’s trying to keep you company. He’s thankful that you do it for him, after all.

8.By warming up the bedding

Your dog doesn’t want you to have to get into a cold bed like the one he used to lie in at the shelter, so he does his best to be first into the bed each night, to fill it with the warmth of gratitude (and a little dog hair).

9.With his bladder

A rescue pooch is so grateful to have a home and that’s why many are diligent about not peeing in it. Every time you’re out for a walk and your rescued pooch makes eye contact with you while peeing on a lamppost he’s trying to say, “This pee is for you, friend.”

10.By returning the favor

It’s hard to imagine how unloved dogs must feel when they’re surrounded by concrete and chain link but for those of us who have rescue dogs, it’s not hard to see how hard they work at returning the love we give.

They’re one part alarm system, one part vacuum cleaner, one part hot water bottle and 100% grateful.

About the author:

Heather Marcoux is a freelance writer whose two rescue dogs, GhostBuster and Marshmallow, are super thankful they got adopted by someone who is constantly dropping food. @Heather_Marcoux has also adopted an Instagram account, and the dogs have one, too, as the@ghostpets.

Learn more about rescue dogs on

9 thoughts on “How Rescue Dogs Say “Thank You””

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  3. Pingback: How to Know a Rescue Dog is Saying Thank You

  4. This is the absolute best!!!! I love how sweet and affectionate my rescue is 🙂 Rescues have hearts of gold and will love like no other <3 🙂

  5. Pingback: How Rescue Dogs Say “Thank You” | ITS A NEW PETSTORE EVERYDAY


  7. I watched a Chiweenie for weeks and couldn’t understand why she hadn’t become someone’s fur baby. She was adorable.
    I had been married for 30 years and could never talk my husband into getting a dog. Then one day we had a “fuss”, and there was only one thing that would make me happy.
    My granddaughter was visiting, and I told her I wanted to go for a drive.
    We did! Straight up to where I’d been watching the Chiweenie online.
    I asked if she was still there, and was told no one could understand why she hadn’t been adopted, that she was so friendly, housebroken, etc. I asked if we could see her, and my granddaughter put a leash on her, took her out of the cage, and immediately received kisses.
    They said she was 51/2 or 6 years old.That was 7 years ago. She’s as loving, and spry as a youngster. My husband after saying “Oh no!” immediately fell in love with her.
    She has slept with me every night since Aug. 1912, and I truly would be lost without my fur baby “Tilly”

  8. This is very sweet. I love all animals. I need a dog in my life so badly… Still, I’m not strong, in my 70s now and have two cats. I need to move more, I’ve lost all my muscles since losing my house to foreclosure. Once you become dependent on below poverty fixed income of SSDI you need HUD housing. Not comfortable, not cool or airy, and having a big old dog… Which is just what I want to love and care for, isn’t possible anymore. There’s too little space and no yard to play in.
    All I can do now is send the few miserable dollars I can save a month to help dogs needing help. Both my cats are rescues and I love them but have spent all I had AND maxed my CARE card for them on vets who cannot find what’s making them refuse food.
    Being elderly is hard because after years of symptoms I have never been diagnosed NOR helped. Vets also seem to think we can continue getting into debt we can’t repay by mysteriously finding nothing wrong but “perhaps an even better test will tell us”… “Us”???
    The conundrum is a country FULL of aging people who love and want a dog. They’d BOTH benefit from having each other. But we’re given just enough to survive til we are no longer able to follow all the rules of HUD for so very little in return. We eventually all end up in dangerous nursing homes for the poor. The dogs we’re unable to save? They end up killed for no other reason but to make room for more to be put into cold cells to wait for a human to love them…. Or euthanize them.
    Too many rules and regulations in America that do not save lives OR make them any easier.

  9. Pingback: How Rescue Dogs Say “Thank You” • Wustoo

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