Who Should Be the Winner of Our Canine Gratitude Contest?

We launched this Thanksgiving giveaway, and you responded with enthusiasm. We picked five finalists, and now it's time for you to vote.


Congratulations to Joe Hardy and his dog, Ray! They’ve won our Canine Gratitude Contest! Entries are now close — thanks for participating and make sure to check back for more fun contests!

We asked you why you’re grateful for your dog in a Thanksgiving giveaway last week, and your responses were powerful! So now it’s the final step of our contest: We’ve randomly selected five finalists, and now we need your votes. The one story that receives the most votes will win a medium pet bed from P.L.A.Y. and a copy of Surf Dog Ricochet’s holiday book.

Read the different stories below (presented in no particular order)

Take note of which entry moved you the most!

1. RedPandemic wrote:

I am grateful for Oru because he does not judge me for what I see, even though he does not see it. He protects me from things no physical body can. I made a rash choice to move out for the first time with him, though I suffer terrible nyctophobia. He has guided me into and out of the dark, explored hallways and bushes I wouldn’t touch, and… best of all, he has come running to my aid though I was absolutely silent and paralyzed with my fear. He’s just an old one-eyed Shih Tzu missing several of his teeth, and I’m just a student with no idea where I’m going, but I’ll never leave him and he’ll never leave me… that’s why I’m thankful for him.

My birthday is November 19. This is my first birthday here and all I’ve asked for is dog things and money for food.

2. Jennifer Foss (Hawkins) wrote:

Happy is the only happiness in my life. I was diagnosed with PTSD after being tormented & abandoned by everyone in my life. Overnight, I went from a career woman to someone who couldn’t even do the dishes. With no one & no hope, I was planning my suicide for the anniversary of the event that sparked my illness. But then a month beforehand, I had a dream about a black Lab puppy named Happy. I went to my local Humane Society website — and literally — there she was. I went and got her that day to be my service dog. As the anniversary approached, all I could think of was Happy. Who would take care of her & love her as much as I? I decided not to leave her; she’s the only reason that I’m alive. I’m thankful that Happy is who she is. My love for her saves me.

3. Joe Hardy wrote:

My dog Ray has been blind since puppyhood. Blinded and tortured by his first so-called human. He was found in an abandoned trailer with five other dogs…..all dead. He was adopted from the shelter …and sadly returned. His blindness was too much for those humans to deal with.

Yet Ray has given us humans another chance. He has given me the honor of showing him that Love exists….that kindness can be shown….that trust can be regained. That a bond can be created. Stronger than steel itself !

I am a “Seeing-Eye Guy” for my blind buddy. My life has been so enriched, so full. We are a team…..we are brothers bound together forever….we are best friends. My blind boy Ray Charles Hardy…….has taught me to see! And for this……I am so incredibly grateful.

4. Mallory H. wrote:

I am grateful for my three rescue dogs because they make my life complete. They make me laugh with their silly faces and antics. We just celebrated my most recent pup’s gotcha day this October. I saw her on Facebook at the pound and knew I needed her. We weren’t going to be moving to out of state by my parents, so I just felt I needed another dog — we got her and I couldn’t of been more in love instantly! We ended up moving anyways. I love doing activities with my dogs, dog parks, shelter events, costume contests etc. I even took my love of dog further to become a dog groomer. So, basically my dogs Just complete me. It’s that feeling inside that I get whenever they kiss me or just sit and smile. Karma, Cleo & Autumn you three are the best any mommy could ask for!

5. Faintly Macabre wrote:

I am grateful for my dog because without judgment or incrimination, she calls upon me to be a better person. With soulful eyes and unending patience, she asks me to remember that there are more important things in life than things — there is life itself and the joy to be found by having our needs met (not just our wants.) She’s helped me to remember how to play, without fear or restraint. She was a “hopeless” Demodex case and will always be a special needs dog, but truly I think the one with special needs was me….I needed her to need me, to give me a reason to be selfless and nurturing, she taught me that I too, have a purpose, even if it is simply to have helped her heal. She gave me a shot at Grace and that’s priceless. 🙂

Now vote below for the most heartwarming reason why these finalists are grateful for their dogs.

Vote by clicking on the little checkmark symbol in the lower corner of each name — it will turn green when selected. If you can’t see the names below, click here to vote.

Winners will be announced Wednesday November 27. Good luck!

Top photo: Dogster member Cassie

Read more on Dogster:

About Liz Acosta: Dogster’s former Cuteness Correspondent, Liz still manages the site’s daily “Awws,” only now she also wrangles Dogster’s social media. That’s why she wants you to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and — her personal favorite — Instagram. See ya there!

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