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    19 Stories From People About How Much Their Dog Has Changed Their Lives

    "It’s OK to rest, but it’s also OK to be weird and play.''

    Earlier this month we asked the BuzzFeed Community to let us know what they have learned from taking care of a dog.

    Here are some of the best responses.

    1. "A dog will be your friend no matter what you look like."

    2. "My rescue helped me go to therapy."

    3. "I never knew that I could possibly love something as much as I love my dogs."

    4. "My dog teaches me to keep things in perspective and focus on what I can or can’t control."

    "She helps me feel gratitude for the little things! When life feels chaotic and people are contentious, I feel powerless at times. However, I know that things aren’t so bad when my dog finds a really good stick and gets the zoomies over a crunchy leaf!"


    5. ''Having a dog taught me, personally, that pets are really just kids with fur."

    "People always say, “Oh, you’ll want kids — it’s worth the struggle,” but I feel the same love from my puppy as a child would give. Pets are family, too, and they’re always there to comfort you. ❤️''


    6. "Dogs respond to your energy, so I had to learn to leave chaos behind and have a peaceful mindset."

    7. "We rescued our dog from the pound when he was 2.''

    image of a dog sitting on a chair with their paws crossed

    8. "That not all dogs like cuddles and not all dogs are excited to see other dogs or people."

    "My dog hasn’t experienced any trauma with people or other dogs; she just has absolutely no interest in them and takes awhile to feel comfortable with them."


    9. "We got a puppy after we learned that we had fertility issues."

    "It was a brash decision but one that I’m so grateful for. He is the best thing I have ever bought; he brings us both so much joy and love. We both collectively adore him, and he has changed our lives and waistlines for the better."


    10. "My boy saved me from myself."

    Loving young woman hug dog show care and attention to animals. Happy girl adopt puppy from shelter, have pet friend in family.

    11. "I didn't want another dog. My husband and I have an older, diabetic, blind dog already."

    image of a dog laying on a sofa

    12. "Having a dog has been life changing. I struggle with depression and could not live by myself without my dog and best friends."

    "We do everything together. The other day we went to an indoor dog park, and I had to use the restroom, and she waited at the fence for me until I came back. If that’s not love, I don’t know what love is."


    13. "Unconditional love. There's no need to gatekeep 'true' love for human motherhood."

    "On multiple occasions in the middle of the night when my anxiety-ridden 60-kilogram rescue rottweiler can't break her focus from the shadows on the wall, I have literally cradled her in my arms and sung lullabies to get her to sleep. I've experienced all the affects of true love, mmmk thank you byeeee."


    14. "My lead dog and I were attacked by a traditionally aggressive breed who had escaped from its house."

    "We were both left with deep wounds, I had tried to shield my dog by covering her in front of a fence, and I had panic attacks on every walk afterward. Sadly my dog died six months after. I won't get a dog again. I can afford one; I live in beautiful part of England where people buy second homes because of the countryside and walks. But I'm just too scared it will happen again. I used to be a confident person too. Now I hardly leave the house and seize up when I hear dogs bark."


    15. "Love comes in many shapes and sizes."

    Black man petting English bulldog

    16. "It’s OK to rest, but it’s also OK to be weird and play.''

    A woman spending time at home with her pet Shih Tzu dod.

    17. "I learned to be happy and accept life for what it is instead of complaining about it."


    18. "If you're anxious, or your dog is, slow down and calm your body."

    "Literally. Slow down your breathing, your walking speed, your moving speed. Drop your shoulders, unclench your jaw, breathe deep. Physically calming your body helps you calm your mind. You being not anxious helps them be less anxious."


    19. "First of all, I learned that dogs are not our toys or objects of company."

    from left: Duke (voice: Eric Stonestreet), Katie (voice: Ellie Kemper), Max (voice: Louis C.K.)

    Some responses were edited for length and/or clarity.

    How has a dog shaped your life? Tell us in the comments below.