Home > Cupcake, Lost Dogs, Missing Pets, Pet Adoption, Pet Ponderings > Has a dog changed your life?

Has a dog changed your life?

IMG_6838When I first considered offering to foster for Minnesota Sheltie Rescue, I wrote a blog post about it. In the post, I included a picture of one of their available dogs cuddled up and sleeping with a stuffed toy.

The dog in the picture was Lady, now known as Cupcake. My Cupcake.

I couldn’t possibly have known then that the dog I would end up fostering would be the very same one in the picture. Nor could I have known that the dog I ended up fostering would get lost, then found, and then adopted – by me.  I also couldn’t have known that meeting Cupcake would lead me to become an advocate for lost dogs or for Shelties in need or that so many other people would become advocates for other lost dogs because of her.

We often hear people talk about those special people in our lives who make a difference in how we see ourselves or who cause us to change directions in our life. But, how often do we think about the dog that has changed our lives in ways we never expected? 

I can think of many examples of people in my life whose life was changed after meeting their dogs – like my friend Edie, who adopted her first dog, Frankie, and ended up writing a book and starting a blog to write about her experiences with him.  Or the the lost dog I read about recently who had been adopted so he could be a companion to a woman with cancer and ended up being a comfort and lifeline for the husband when she died. Or my friend Debbie, who adopted a fearful dog named Sunny and ended up writing a book and a blog to help other owners of fearful dogs.

Dogs enter our lives in mysterious ways and sometimes they impact it in ways we never expect. Cupcake certainly did that for me. Has a dog changed your life in some way? If so, how? 


  1. October 22, 2013 at 7:09 AM

    Great post. I believe all dogs change us a little. Del is my first dog, and he’s completely changed my life. He’s taught me so much, especially how to put others first. He’s changed me and our lifestyle and I’ll always be eternally grateful to him.

    • Mel
      October 23, 2013 at 6:40 AM

      That was beautifully said Rachael. I absolutely love that.

  2. October 22, 2013 at 8:12 AM

    Absolutely. My dogs get me out and about and have made me much more sociable. I use to be so shy but now I’m more outgoing than I’ve ever been:)

    • Mel
      October 23, 2013 at 6:39 AM

      You? Shy? No way! That is so cool. I never knew that. Of course, they also help you look for unicorn horns too. 😉

  3. October 22, 2013 at 8:36 AM

    Great post. Yes, my dogs changed me, made me stretch myself and do things I never thought about before, as in search and rescue training.

    • Mel
      October 23, 2013 at 6:39 AM

      Wow! That is a big influence Maria! I am impressed!

  4. October 22, 2013 at 8:44 AM

    That’s an awesome post. When we got Torrey it changed my life to see the fun in everything. Like she does.

    • Mel
      October 23, 2013 at 6:38 AM

      That is Jasper for me Roxy. He makes me see the fun too. 🙂

  5. October 22, 2013 at 9:50 AM

    Mom says each of us has changed her in different ways. My sister Katie taught my mom patience as she was a real challenge puppy. I teach Mom about laughter and fun, looks like Bailie is going to teach Mom to get out more and socialize with other dog people.

    • Mel
      October 23, 2013 at 6:38 AM

      LOL! I think both you and Bailie help mom get out and about. 🙂

  6. October 22, 2013 at 9:58 AM

    I’ve changed Mama’s life for sure! Wooooowoooooooo!

  7. October 22, 2013 at 10:28 AM

    They are the reason I get out of bed each day. They are the first to get me to smile. They are my life and rescuing them rescues me. Here is a link to my story about the first dog I owned. She saved my life!


    • Mel
      October 23, 2013 at 6:37 AM

      So wonderful! I feel that way about my dogs too. I’ll check out your story. 🙂

  8. victorialynncarter
    October 22, 2013 at 1:08 PM

    My Willow girl was just such a dog for me. She ended up changing my life twice, once by helping me leave a ‘going nowhere/unhealthy’ relationship, and twice by introducing me to my now husband of soon to be 2 years (Nov. 10). My husbands dog (Putt-Putt in pic) did a similar thing for him. We both went to our local bark park, and saw each others dogs, fell in love with each others dogs first, and the rest is history.

    • Mel
      October 23, 2013 at 6:37 AM

      Your story made me smile. I love that she changed your life twice and helped you meet your husband. How beautiful!

  9. October 22, 2013 at 4:14 PM

    Each of my dogs have impacted my life in profound ways. When I was 8 yrs old, an abused, neglected cocker spaniel taught me about forgiveness and unconditional love, an adopted fear aggressive Rottweiler led me to become a dog trainer, my yellow lab brought me to therapy dogs and volunteering, my border collie taught me to “train the dogs brain” because she is so smart…my newest Rott reminds me to LOVE what I do and embrace each day.
    Lovely post!

    • Mel
      October 23, 2013 at 6:36 AM

      How beautiful Kym. I love how each taught you something different. I feel the same about my dogs.

  10. 4theloveofdog
    October 22, 2013 at 4:39 PM

    I am reading a book right now called the Divinity of Dogs that is filled with short stories about dogs that have had profound impact on their owner’s lives. A really great read! Some of the stories are amazing – you might need some tissue handy 🙂

    • Mel
      October 23, 2013 at 6:35 AM

      I am so going to check out that book Tanya! Thanks!

  11. whydowepaythem
    October 22, 2013 at 6:17 PM

    My dog saved my life , figuratively not literally. I became very withdrawn and depressed after five friends and relatives died within a year. All were younger than I. I adopted him to help get me out of the house. I had to walk him and began meeting people in the neighborhood and in the park. He had the terrier energy at moment and the sweet cuddly powder puff the next. That was more than 13 years ago. His energy has toned down a bit, his cuddling has not.

    • Mel
      October 23, 2013 at 6:35 AM

      Wow. That is so wonderful. I am so glad your dog helped you through a very tough time. He sounds like a special dog. 🙂

  12. October 22, 2013 at 8:17 PM

    Oh, for sure! Abby taught us about the importance of living in the moment, and she also brought tons of new friends into my life (whether from cancer forums or my blog). She had such an impact on me, I had to write a whole book about her! Great post!

  13. October 22, 2013 at 8:44 PM

    Absolutely – adopting Jack lead us to creating SlimDoggy! We have a new company, a new blog, wonderful new friends and community – it’s a huge change – all due to Jack, that 105lb overweight, overwrought rescue!

    • Mel
      October 23, 2013 at 6:34 AM

      Ha! I should have used you and Jack as an example in my post! I can’t believe I didn’t!

  14. John Wick
    October 23, 2013 at 4:32 AM

    I got my dog, a Papillion, for my wife when she was fighting breast cancer, it turned out that this dog was the best medicine I could give my wife, her mood changed for the better and the dog would not leave her side. After my wife passed away Laney (dogs name) comforted me, I still have her and wouldn’t know what I’d do without her. And to think that I never wanted to own a dog, now I don’t know how I lived without one.

    • Mel
      October 23, 2013 at 6:33 AM

      Wow John. Laney sounds like a special dog. I am so sorry for your loss. I am sure your wife, through Laney, is watching over you too. I am so glad Laney is there for you.

  15. October 23, 2013 at 5:53 AM

    Of course, my life was empty before! I had a very small family, so a dog gave me some companionship in life 🙂

  16. October 23, 2013 at 11:35 AM

    Belated thank you for the mention! You said it: Book, blog, career change — not to mention the discovery of the joys of puppy love.

  17. October 27, 2013 at 11:08 PM

    I rescued my dog Molly and she changed my life. She teaches me something everyday, from remembering to play to the importance of a good long afternoon nap 🙂 I am better because of her and I know that she, indeed, rescued me. Thank you for a great article 🙂

    • Mel
      October 28, 2013 at 6:13 AM

      Thank YOU for sharing! It sounds like Molly is a lucky girl too. 🙂

  18. Melissa Barthold
    October 28, 2013 at 7:19 PM

    I’ve loved many dogs in my life (the bene of being …’mature’!) “my dog” (of our 3 rescues) is the one that I’ve loved the most — I think, Maybe not –but I really love her and she brings out all the niceness in me! That’s a plus to me. I’ve always been pretty nice –but I think I’m nicer with her around.
    Thanks for that great article!

    • Mel
      October 28, 2013 at 8:28 PM

      So glad you liked it. 🙂
      I love that she males you nicer. How very sweet!

  19. October 29, 2013 at 11:47 AM

    What a lovely post 🙂 My first dog (Jody) and my dog now (Harvey) have both changed my life massively – no matter what happens our dogs are always there with a smile on their faces, they’re so loyal and are the best companions – they’re just amazing! 🙂 x

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