Famous Influencers Share What Their Pup Means to Them on International Dog Day

A woman holding two small pups in a pink bow tie celebrates International Dog Day.

We celebrate our canine companions every day with wag-worthy toys, tasty treats, and unconditional love. (If they didn’t know any better, they might think today was just like any other day.)

But today, spoil your pooch a little extra, as it’s International Dog Day! Today, we recognize the endless reasons why dogs make our lives better, from keeping us active and reducing stress to literally making us happier and healthier. Our bond with them is truly unlike any other.

For this year’s International Dog Day, pet parents from around the world shared what having a dog means to them.

Bring Joy to Our Life

Sandi Swiridoff and Reagan

“Reagan means EVERYTHING to me. We are a match made in heaven. I love photography, he loves to pose for the camera. I’m an empty nester, he is always by my side. Thanks to him and social media I’ve had the opportunity to make people smile, add joy to their day, and benefit children in foster care. He’s like a virtual therapy dog. I am thankful every single day for my furry family member. Who’s a good boy? You are, Reagan!”

— Sandi Swiridoff, Reagan’s mom

Always in Your Corner

Mr. Biggie and Leo Anguiano

“When we first got Biggie, we had no idea how much of a difference he’d make in our lives.

We learned that having a dog means having a best friend in your corner, no matter the circumstances. We can have an extremely bad day, but just looking at him changes everything. We’ll leave, come back 10 minutes later, and he’ll greet us like he hasn’t seen us in weeks. So, to us, having a dog means having someone that will always be there to help you through the hard times and share the joy of the good times.”

— Leo + Sabrina Anguiano, Mr. Biggie’s dad and mom

Related: 8 Ways to Show Your Dogs You Love Them That You Probably Haven’t Even Thought About

Big Impacts Come in Small Sizes

Sam Carrell and Tinkerbelle and Belle

“Having a dog in my life was the best unexpected decision ever. Adopting Tinkerbelle The Dog has changed my life totally — for the better. I never knew the impact and connection a tiny pup could have on me. Adding Belle The Dog to our little family makes every day a fun adventure. 

Both pups bring me joy, happiness, and unconditional love. They make a bad day better and a good day even more amazing. My work and schedule has increased by having two working actor/model pups, but I am so grateful and thankful for all that comes our way. They have literally opened up a new world for me. I love our journeys, travels, work adventures, and simply EVERYTHING we do together. My love and bond with Tink and Belle can not be measured and is a true blessing.”

— Sam Carrell, Tinkerbelle & Belle’s mom

Make Us Want to Be Better People

Michi J. and Hercules the Warrior Dog

“I am so grateful to Hercules for coming into my life! He has shown me what unconditional love, strength, and family really is! He never judges when I talk nonsense to him, always happy to listen. He helps me to get up and be positive in my down moments, and what I also love is how joyful he gets when he sees that I am happy and content. Because of Herc, I have wanted to explore new places I’ve never been to with him, and have met lovely new people I would never have met because of him. Herc is my own little superhero and he makes me want to be a better human!”

— Michi J., Hercules the Warrior Dog’s mom

Gives Without Expecting Anything in Return

Shelby Susnick and Russell

“Having a dog has given me a taste of what unconditional love is. He doesn’t care what my job is, if I had nothing in my bank account, or if I was a millionaire. Not that dogs are dumb, they are actually really smart. He can tell if I’m having a bad day, if my anxiety is on the rise and more. All he asks from me is that I love him in return. It is truly a blessing to experience a relationship so pure in your life.”

— Shelby Susnick, Russell’s mom

Always by Your Side

Conny Steyaert and Nelson

“Owning a dog is beyond amazing! My dogs have changed my life in so many positive ways. Nelson helped me heal from a broken relationship. He was the reason that I went outdoors again, made me smile again … nothing is more pure than the love of a dog.

They are always there for you, always happy to see you, you get to meet people you otherwise would never have met … I never feel lonely because I always have my dogs by my side, and they always bring a smile on my face even when you are having a less day. My dogs are my best friends, and they are the best companions you could ever wish to have — their love is unconditional.”

— Conny Steyaert, Nelson + Rose’s mom

Levels Up Your Life

Brian and Magnus

“I am a firm believer that life is better with a dog, and Magnus exemplifies that every second of every day. Magnus is not only our family pet, but he is also a therapy dog, and my best buddy. I make sure to include Magnus is every aspect of my life — from eating meals, working out, going on errands, running my business, watching movies, and even traveling.

He has a unique way to level up any situation. If you are having a bad day, he makes it a better day. If you are having a good day, he makes it a great day. His ability to read people and seem to know exactly what they need, when they need it is why he is such an amazing therapy dog and because off our work as a pet therapy team, I am able to share his gifts with the world. We visit terminally and critically ill children and adults in hospitals, schools for children with emotional disorders and learning disabilities, in addition to nursing homes.  The smiles and joy he brings to others is priceless. Just being around Magnus makes you relax and feel at ease. Having a dog in my life literally makes EVERYTHING better!

— Brian Benson, Magnus’ dad

Your Dog Is a Reflection of Who You Are

Ashley Ann and Harmonie

“My first and only fur-daughter Harmonie is THAT best friend who is always on my side. Having a dog is my form of therapy, she is my happy place.

I’ve gone through so many trials and tribulations in my life. As an adult and as a mother, Harmonie has been there with me every step of the way. As a groomer, I’m a firm believer that your pup is a reflection of who you are. Harmony has class, pizzazz, and is probably the most stylish pup that you’ll ever come across. As much as I hate to admit it, she is the one that makes me look good! There is no competition. She’s helped me so much with my career as well. I truly believe my salon wouldn’t be as successful as it is without having my puppy rockstar by my side. I’m grateful for Harmonie — more importantly I’m grateful to the universe for lining us up together in this lifetime. I couldn’t imagine doing this with any other pup! 

— Ashley Ann, Harmonie’s mom

By Yvonne Villasenor

Yvonne Villasenor is an Orange County, Calif-based freelance writer. She can often be found watching creature features, swooning over dogs on the internet or playing with her Chihuahuas.

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