My life has been filled with four legged babies, the “new to me” kind. I remember searching through rescue websites, flipping through ASPCA picture books at adoption fairs, and surfing Petfinder.com in search of that special one. You know, the one’s whose eyes speak to you, whose story brings tears to your eyes, and when you meet them, the instant connection you feel and how your heart just swells? Yep, every single time.

My reward for those long, difficult initial nights and days of getting to know each other and trying to understand why they are scared of a bike, why they hide under pillows, or why they don’t know how to play? The day when they give you a kiss, the morning when you roll over in bed and find them snuggled up next to you softly snoring, or the moment when they pounce on a toy with their tail wagging so fast it’s a blur. Those moments make my heart smile.

My pups have brought an immense amount of joy to my life. They have welcomed each of my babies home, become the pseudo-nanny and built-in best friend to each of them, dug my husband and I out of a deep grief when we buried our son, and they welcome our family home every single time we walk in the door with celebratory dancing and endless kisses. I admit, we love them, they are our family, as it should be. Part of being our family means, honoring traditions like hanging their ornaments on our Christmas tree and putting out their stockings every year (yes, we are those people). Just as I change out the clothing in my children’s closets with the seasons, I change up the bandanas that they wear or their name tags – I’ve got to keep my pups looking sharp!

So, as we celebrate this first National Make a Dogs Day, if you have room in your home and your heart, I know there is a special furry friend in a shelter or at a rescue just waiting for your love and to give you their love. And, if you’re filled to the brim by your furry friend, love them just as much as they love you. After all, dogs are a special breed. -Tiffany

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