GOOD NEWS

10 Rescue Dogs That Actually Rescued Their Owners

These dogs have helped their owners deal with everything from depression to death.

While the term rescue dog implies that the canine was the only one who was saved, in many cases, the owner's life has changed for the better too. 

October is Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog month.  To celebrate, we asked HuffPost Good News readers to tell us how their rescue dogs "rescued" them using the hashtag   #HPMyRescueDogRescuedMe.

From supporting their owners through a divorce, to helping them deal with PTSD, these rescue dogs showed their love in incredible ways.

Check out 10 amazing rescue pooches and their stories below!  

  • Her Rescue Dog Helped Her Recover From An Eating Disorder And Deal With Bipolar Disorder
    I moved to a new city, 500 miles from home, two weeks after college graduation. I had just adopted Rory from a friend who was
    Kelly Rivard/Facebook
    I moved to a new city, 500 miles from home, two weeks after college graduation. I had just adopted Rory from a friend who was fostering her, and knew she'd be my little co-pilot as I started a brave new chapter of my life. Those first few months were scary: I didn't know anyone, I had no support net, and I was fighting hard to recover from the eating disorder that had plagued me off and on throughout college, while managing bipolar disorder. I wanted a fresh start so badly.

    It would have been easy to fall back into bad habits or not take care of myself, but this vivacious little dachshund pulled me out of my comfort zone. She made it harder to stay inside when the weather was nice. She turned into a way to meet people, and motivation to get up and get moving.

    I've been in recovery from that eating disorder for over three years now, lost all of the weight I gained because of it, and just ran my first half marathon on Saturday. I'm not sure all of that would have happened if this tiny dog hadn't entered my life with the utmost enthusiasm and affection and joined me on this grand adventure. 

    -- Facebook User Kelly Rivard
  • Their Rescue Dog Helped Them Through The Death Of Their Son
    This is Oscar. We adopted him a few months after our son died. We didn't want to go anywhere or speak to anyone, especia
    DonandJen Hathaway/Facebook
    This is Oscar. We adopted him a few months after our son died. We didn't want to go anywhere or speak to anyone, especially happy families. So instead we poured our love into him, and he sent it right back. We took him for walks and hikes and went to the dog park. He got us out of the house and helped us literally put one foot in front of the other to keep going. I'm afraid to think of where we would be without him. He saved our lives!

    -
    - Facebook User DonandJen Hathaway
  • His Rescue Dog Helped Him Through A Divorce And His Stepfather's Cancer Diagnosis
    This is Monty. Monty grew up on a reserve in Winnipeg, Manitoba. If it were not for a group called CAARE he would probably be
    Corey Allan Hawkins/Facebook
    This is Monty. Monty grew up on a reserve in Winnipeg, Manitoba. If it were not for a group called CAARE he would probably be dead. Monty was flown out on a Friday to Vancouver, British Columbia, and that's when I got to meet him. 

    What Monty doesn't know is that I was going through a divorce, and at the same time my stepfather had gotten more bad news about his cancer. I can't begin to tell you how that affected me. I was tired of spending time inside. I was tired of not going out. I missed people.

    The moment I met Monty he changed my life. He's the happiest dog I've ever met. From his kisses, to his cheeky barks. We do everything together. Monty has helped with my depression. My anxiety. My weight and my soul.

    Monty will never know how much he's done for me. But on the day I got him, I did not rescue him. He rescued me.

    -- Facebook User Corey Allan Hawkins
  • His Rescue Dog Helped Him Deal With Depression And PTSD After An Accident
    This is for my Gracie. In 2001, I was injured in the line of duty in a traffic accident. After several months of physical reh
    Fatal Usmc/Facebook
    This is for my Gracie. In 2001, I was injured in the line of duty in a traffic accident. After several months of physical rehab I was told I would never be able to work again, and I would lose the job I loved as a police officer.

    For my birthday, my wife adopted Gracie for me from the Durham APS. Me and my Gracie connected instantly. I was going through PTSD from the accident and had depression from losing my job. But Gracie was my lil' girl and was always there for me to make me feel better. I remember lying in the back of my pickup truck at night depressed, but Gracie laid next to me, and it was better.

    I was able to get over my depression and PTSD with Gracie by my side. Gracie was with me for 11 years. On Oct 22, two years ago, my Gracie passed away. I lost my best friend who helped me live again by saving me when I had lost all hope in my life. There’s not a day that goes by when I don’t whisper at night before falling asleep telling her goodnight and I miss her. Thank you Gracie, your Daddy loves you. 

    -- Facebook User Fatal Usmc
  • Her Rescue Dog Helped Her Cope After Her Husband's Death
    We had two beautiful rescues some years ago, a beautiful schnauzer Cookie and her buddy Tank, our Doberman. Three years ago,
    Julie Schell/Facebook
    We had two beautiful rescues some years ago, a beautiful schnauzer Cookie and her buddy Tank, our Doberman. Three years ago, my husband was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. I, at that time, had to quit my job to take care of him -- which also meant that I had to find homes for my babies.

    When he passed, I was out of mind until I found Monty. We go everywhere together. I am fortunate to be able to take him to my office. And bedtime is hysterical. He hogs most of my queen bed, under the covers curled up into me. He rescued me. I [love] him so and [am] thankful he has come into my life.

    -- Facebook User Julie Schell
  • His Rescue Dog Helps Him Through Medical Issues
    This is Neiko. Neiko came to our home in New Jersey two years ago from a high kill shelter in the South. He was 10 months old
    Rusty Williams/Facebook
    This is Neiko. Neiko came to our home in New Jersey two years ago from a high kill shelter in the South. He was 10 months old at the time and was scheduled to be euthanized the day after we pulled him from the shelter -- he literally had only hours to live. The owner of our rescue organization graciously donated Neiko but part of that agreement was that he would become my service dog.

    I was diagnosed in 2009 with a tumor in my spinal cord; it is inoperable and untreatable at this time. As it grows it continues to rob my strength and cause nerve damage down my left leg. I’m in a chronic state of pain, and I was tripping and falling a lot when we first got Neiko. 

    Neiko spent four months being trained at Elite K9 Academy in Jupiter, Florida. The photo is of me learning to walk with Neiko fitted with a specially made harness that I use for balance support and mobility assistance. Neiko is also trained to open doors (a task he already had a handle on!) and to retrieve items for me.

    To say that Neiko changed my life would be an understatement -- he saved my life. 

    Neiko was rescued, that’s a fact. But he rescued me and my family as well. Neiko rescued me from the prison of the walls of my home, and he rescued me from not caring about life anymore; he rescued me in ways that make words seem inadequate. I am forever grateful for his love and his loyalty.

    -- Facebook User Rusty Williams
  • Her Rescue Dog Helped Her Deal With Anxiety
    This was taken about six months after we adopted Jazzy Belle. Having suffered from severe anxiety my entire life, I would hav
    Jazzyandstella/Instagram
    This was taken about six months after we adopted Jazzy Belle. Having suffered from severe anxiety my entire life, I would have extreme panic attacks. I would exert every ounce of energy that I had getting so worked up that I would eventually fall asleep from pure exhaustion. And guess who was there for me?

    Yep, that big ole, sweet, mushy blockhead soon became my constant shadow. She would lay with me when I didn't feel OK. She was there for me when I would wake up. She would force me to go outside for walks when all I wanted to do was curl up into a ball and hide in the depths of the dark house. And eventually, I was able to start to feel and be OK. I'll always have anxiety, but I know that as long as I have Jazzy Belle (and now Stella), I'll be OK.

    -
    - Instagram User jazzyandstella
  • Her Rescue Dog Helped Her Cope After Her Father's Death
    This is Audrey. She's 11 years old. We rescued each other when she was about 12 weeks old. She was a difficult puppy/young do
    Kate Parker-Albano/Facebook
    This is Audrey. She's 11 years old. We rescued each other when she was about 12 weeks old. She was a difficult puppy/young dog -- dominant to an extreme, and very destructive. We found that the only thing that helped her behavior were long, structured walks. After a while, she started to get better. She became my best friend.

    Seven years ago, my father died [due to] complications from a lung transplant. I was, of course, devastated. I got very depressed. I chain smoked and gained weight and I was generally a total mess. One of the worst parts was everyone feeling so sorry for me -- everyone except Audrey. Dogs don't feel pity. She needed her walks, she needed to be brushed. She needed her supper. She always had this stoic look that seemed to say, "Get up, dammit. We have to walk." And walk we did.

    She reminded me, every day, that although my father was dead, I was not. There were little living creatures counting on me. And I had to keep moving forward. Audrey truly rescued me. I don't think I'll ever be able to repay her that debt of gratitude. But, I'll spend the rest of her life trying.

    -- Facebook User Kate Parker-Albano
  • Her Rescue Dog Helped Her Through Depression
    I adopted Sadie right before Thanksgiving of 2014. I had been suffering from a terrible bout of depression and was living by
    Libby Ertel/Facebook
    I adopted Sadie right before Thanksgiving of 2014. I had been suffering from a terrible bout of depression and was living by myself. I was afraid to lean too hard on my friends and boyfriend. They noticed and the idea of getting a dog was born. 

    I channeled all of my energy into my new 2.5-month-old puppy. She lifted me out of that awful period in my life, and now, at 1 year old, gives me a guaranteed laugh and smile every day. She is my doggie daughter and my everything.

    -
    - Facebook User Libby Ertel
  • Her Rescue Dog Helped Her Through Financial Troubles After A Divorce
    About seven years ago, I was at rock bottom. My ex-husband took all our money and left me for another women, I couldn't affor
    Sharon Jun/Facebook
    About seven years ago, I was at rock bottom. My ex-husband took all our money and left me for another women, I couldn't afford the rent and bills. My car was repossessed. There were days I couldn't eat. Everything that could go wrong did. Sometimes I would lay in bed and wonder, "What's the point?"

    Then I would look at my dog, Missy. I just kept thinking about who would care for her. That's what got me up in the morning and the will to carry on. If it were not for her, I wouldn't be alive today. She helped me turn my life around. 

    -- Facebook User Sharon Jun

Responses have been edited for length and clarity.

 

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