This article is a compilation of dog adoption stories from people with big hearts along with the first photos of when they met the dog shared in the first pic challenge. Here are 15 photos and adoption stories of dogs in the first pic challenge.
#1 – Story shared by Remington Grace
One Friday night I was online browsing dogs available for adoption and stumbled upon an urgent dog. I had no idea if he was still available or even alive, but I knew I had to find out. I immediately called the contact listed and they informed me that he was still alive, has been at the local animal shelter (they said “pound”) for over a year, and would be being euthanized tomorrow around 8am. I told them I would get there in time and I wanted to meet him.
The next day, on May 27, 2017, I got up at 6am to drive an hour to a pretty remote and fairly dilapidated building in the middle of the country. I could see from the car that there was someone outside walking this large black dog. I stepped out of the car and immediately the large dog pulled out of the handler’s grip and rushed towards me, he jumped up and covered me in kisses. My roommate who came with me captured this picture.
Not even 10 minutes later I was signing the adoption papers. About 12 minutes later I was told that he had pretty advanced heartworm and almost zero training and had been abused in the past so he was slow to trust. I found out that he’d have to undergo a risky heartworm treatment that would cost me most my savings.
It didn’t matter, he was mine and I was his. We chose each other at our lowest, most desperate times. We truly rescued each other. Every day I share with him has been a good day because he’s in it. I love my baby boy with my whole heart. This is Badger and this is our first pic challenge 💞
#2 – Story shared by Michele Crowhurst
I am an ER vet tech that works countless overnights and sees a lot of awful cases. Kikka came in as a suspect parvo case. She was insanely sick (vomiting/diarrhea/hypoglycemic, etc) and honestly knocking on death’s door. The owner elected to euthanize her at just 9 weeks old because he could not afford treatment. My doctor offered him to relinquish ownership to us and take over her care, and he very happily agreed so she could have another chance at life. After just a couple weeks of intensive care, she became healthy as a horse and a little maligator speed demon. My doctor knew I had experience with working breeds and conned me into watching her while the doctor went out of state, knowing fully well I would fall in love with her. And sure enough, i did. She’s now 11 months old and an absolute beast. She’s the light of my life, the little psycho. We do several dog sports and have gone on so many adventures, with so many more to go 🥰
(This was my first official picture of her when I picked her up at work after she finished all her treatments.)
#3 – Story shared by Ashley Nanney
I had been working with the feral pack for almost three months. My desperate pleas to rescues to take in the ferals, at least the females, fell on deaf ears.
As I watched their bellies swell with pups, I knew it would be up to me.
I prepared a kennel at home, in case I was able to catch one. And I continued to visit the pack daily, feeding, watering, socializing. As they’d eat, I’d sit nearby on a towel and simply talk to them. Slight movements still startled them, so I had to take great care to move with purpose.
I kept hot dogs on my person, to entice them closer and reward them for their courage.
At the end of September, one of the pregnant mothers suddenly stopped coming. After several days, she finally returned, with her milk in. She came out, ate quickly, and dashed back to the woods. I knew she’d delivered.
The property was set on dozens of acres of woods, some impassable due to cliffs. I had followed their trails through the woods and had an idea of where they might be, but that area was thick with briars (good natural protection). I searched for days, cutting my way through the growth, and finally found a promising sign. There was some stuffing and other bits of bedding strewn about the ground. Like it’d been gathered for a nest.
It was too dark to continue looking. I returned the next evening and focused my efforts on that area. I quieted my breathing…..and I heard a small cry. Straining my ears, I followed the faint sound, and suddenly caught sight of the mother, barely visible through the thick bushes she’d chosen to nest under.
I returned to my car and gathered the hot dogs, to lure her away so I could inspect the puppies. It worked, and I was able to finally see them.
Five little pups, squirming in dirt and twigs.
I knew I’d do whatever it took to save them.
A year later, four of them have been adopted into happy, loving homes that update me often.
#4 – Story shared by Emily Hardie
After 2 years of infertility and heartbreak after heartbreak, my husband and I were gifted with Sadie. We had been planning on having kids before getting a dog, but that plan didn’t work out, so we started to follow some local breeders on Facebook and started to save our money for my dream dog – a goldendoodle.
One of the local breeders posted that they wanted to bless a family who had had a hard year with a free puppy from their most recent litter… and my sweet husband and best friend submitted my name without me knowing. Within a few hours, my husband called to tell me that I’d be getting my dream dog for free, and that I could go pick her up that afternoon.
Getting my girl Sadie will always be my second-favorite surprise… right after finding out I was pregnant with our little boy one month after being blessed with my sweet pup. This is Sadie and this is our first pic challenge.
#5 – Story shared by Jenny Youngblood
I found (Nala) living in the bushes outside of my apartment! Long story short… she was severely abused and then was confiscated and placed into a shelter. She was adopted by a nice family, but ended up running away 2x. I found her the second time living in my bushes.
I was not in the right place to keep her being a student with 2 jobs. I gave her away and she bounced between a few different people. The next day she was returned back to me. I decided to keep her until I found a better solution. My heart broke over how badly this dog was traumatized. She wouldn’t look at me, wouldn’t move her tail, wouldn’t allow any pets.
I found the family who had rescued her and returned her. They seemed very nice. Over the next week I couldn’t stop thinking about this dog and how badly I felt like I needed to help her. I decided in that moment, if for some reason she was to end up in my arms a third time, then it was a sign.
That family called me up and said she wasn’t the right fit for them and asked me if I would take her. Within an hour she was at my door!
It took some time for her to learn to love again, but soon enough she was glued to my side everywhere I went. She truly transformed into a new dog. She learned to run for the first time, finally wagged her tail almost a year later. She learned to love pets and cuddles with humans. She also found a love for cats too! She ended up being the sweetest, most loyal and loving girl ever.
#6 – Story shared by Kelley French Prichard
1 year ago, Albert and I were driving into benton to take care of some rescue business when we got a call from an acquaintance. She explained that her Chinese Crested dog had been in labor for most of the day and hadn’t produced a puppy. I advised her to take to vet, would prob need a c section. She wasn’t in a place financially to be able to take her to a vet. I started calling all the vets I work with to try to have her seen. It happened to be the week of our state veterinary convention and every vet I called was gone to that. So I decided to go over and see if I could help little mama. Thank God for all those vet tech years. Mama had a puppy stuck in the birth canal. We were able to help her dislodge and deliver that puppy which was long deceased at that point. Then another deceased puppy was delivered. Then we had 4 live puppies. Of all 6 puppies, there was only 1 that was naked like mama. She had been accidentally bred by the neighbors pug and the other puppies looked just like baby pugs. I was madly in love the moment I laid eyes on that tiny naked gargoyle. Mamas owner saw how much I loved him and she offered to gift him to us (once weaned) as a thank you for helping her little mama. I took her up on the offer, of course! I went to visit him weekly until he could come home. From the moment I laid eyes on him, I knew he was special. He has brought us so much laughter and joy in the past year and I am forever grateful to have been given such an amazing gift. Happy Birthday to our little Vito Nudacris Nakey Baby Hippo!! I’m so thankful that I get to be his Mimmy!
#7 – Story shared by Crystal Fujiwara
I’ve worked 3 years in vetmed without adopting a random puppy… until this year.
Babo came in to my animal hospital at 7 weeks old, seizing and dysphoric. Her breeder decided to euthanize or give up to the local humane society (where she likely would have been euthanized too)… unless someone decided to adopt her in that moment.
Needless to say, my parents weren’t happy at me (or the amount of money I spent on this puppy) 😅
Babo came home with me on Valentine’s Day ❤️ she went from seizing in my arms at work, to being the craziest puppy I’ve ever had. So grateful that she made it through the night, then the next one, and then every night after that ❤️
#8 – Story shared by Lillie Jacson
After several years working in social services I switched career paths and taking a sizable cut in pay and I started working for the vet that I had been bringing my pets to for over thirty years. When I started this job my husband said that if it ever came down to an animal being euthanized or us fostering, I didn’t have to ask, I could just bring that animal home no questions asked.
This last November, the day after Thanksgiving and the day after my birthday a couple brought in this little puppy with diarrhea and vomiting. In puppies this young we always suspect parvo when they have these symptoms especially if they are severe but we always hope it’s something else. We sent the couple home with meds for the pups tummy and told them to let us know if he didn’t get better in the next 24 hours.
The next day, they called and said he had been vomiting all night, unable to keep anything down, we told them we could show them how to give the pup fluids and could give an injection for nausea and would waive the office visit fee since we knew money was tight. They said they thought they could afford that so we set an appointment for them to come in.
A short while later we received a call from them saying that they did not think they could keep up with the care he needed and they wanted to euthanize.
I told the doctor that as an alternative I could take the pup if they surrendered him to me and I would do a medical foster.
The doctor asked if I needed to ask my husband and I said no it would be fine and I’d tell him later. So the doctor presented surrendering the pup as an alternative to euthanasia and the couple agreed.
I drew up a document for them to sign and had the couple sign the pup over to me.
This was the picture I took of our boy to send to my husband to give him a heads up that’d I’d be bringing a puppy home who would need round the clock care.
Shortly after this pic was taken we confirmed he had parvo.
It’s been eight weeks since that first day when he was given less than a 50/50 chance to make it, and our little boy is thriving and not so little anymore. We named him Akihiro, because he was born on the first day of autumn and call him Hiro, and we decided to keep him right before Christmas.
#9 – Story shared by Christina Elle
My fiancé and I had originally intended to get a smaller dog because we don’t have a huge living space, but when we saw just how many older pitbulls there were in shelters, we felt like we simply had to give one of them a loving forever home and would do whatever it took to take good care of them.
Pickle (named Fluffernutter by shelter staff) had been picked up as a stray by animal control and in the shelter for a month already. We were told she had been extremely stressed and anxious the whole time. She had had 5-6 failed meet and greets – fails mostly because of a healing hematoma on her ear, a few skin tags, and arthritis in her knees. The moment she walked out of the building to meet us I knew we wouldn’t leave without her 💓 this picture still gets me choked up because it was just a couple minutes after bringing her home and just look at her little face 🥺
#10 – Story shared by Sandrita AtilesTyrrell
These are the first pics I have with our Housecow Podrick. He was 1.5 yrs old here. Sister in law rescued him, and as soon as I saw his pics I fell in love. He reminded me so much of my late Dane Kramer, that I started joking about taking him away from her. Little did I know my husband had already planned with her that he would be my dog. He and his best friend showed up with him, and the pics say the rest. Happy day for sure 🥰😍
#11 – Story shared by Valerie Loomis
A few months ago a lady saw this old girl walking through the pouring rain on a county highway. She tried to catch her, but couldn’t. After a couple of days the dog was so worn out, she just laid down on that lady’s porch.
That kind lady called my friend Carol, who runs a Great Pyr/ Komondor rescue down here. When Carol took her to the vet, they learned she is very old (probably 12+), very arthritic, most likely totally deaf & has limited vision due to cataracts.
I already have 2 dogs, & didn’t plan to get another. But then I saw this girl, & something said…bring her home. I can’t explain it, but I didn’t even have to think about it.
From the very first day, she just wants to be near me. She looks for me, makes sure I’m okay, & then lays down. If I get up, she follows slowly because her arthritis is very bad & she can’t see me until she gets up real close.
While I wrapped Christmas presents, she laid under the tree & slept, & I couldn’t help but think…she is my very special Christmas present.
She is my sweet, sweet Marlee Girl, name after Marlee Maitlin, the only deaf actress to win an Academy Award.
#12 – Story shared by Amelia Swiper
Haley came to us as a hospice foster so her last few days wouldn’t have to be spent in a kennel at the shelter. They warned us she might not make it through the night. The first picture was taken right before we loaded her up to come home.
Turns out she liked “home” enough to stick around for almost three extra years.
She had been used for breeding and lived outside her whole life until animal control removed her. She treated all of the other animals like they were her babies. When I brought home a terrified 3lb chihuahua from a hoarding case, she was an endless source of comfort and confidence to him and many other fosters.
Haley hiked in the woods every day, loved to swim, and could lovingly stare at my mom for hours. We all miss her so much, especially Lou, but even if we did only get her for that one night, we would do it again 100 times.
#13 – Story shared by Emily J Cox
I found Yoko inside a tattered up mattress, caked in mud to the point I didn’t know she was a Shepherd, on the side of the road on trash day. After picking her up and searching for her owner, a neighbor approached me and told me that I shouldn’t give her back based off of the fact that he’d seen her all tied up while other dogs tried to attack her. I never thought I’d own a German Shepherd, but there was no way I was giving her back after that – judge me if you want to.
First pictures were her at 12 weeks old at 10lbs (severely underweight despite the coat fluff). Last picture is her now (how odd she went from mostly black to mostly fawn isn’t it?).
#14 – Story shared by Jessica Moore
This was the first time I saw our pumpkin! He was so happy to be out of that cage. He was so well mannered and the goodest boy! His favorite things to do was play fetch and attack the water out of the hose. He would dance for his food and when we would come home he would always greet us with a big smile and wagging tail. A few days ago we found out he had a mass on his kidney and was in kidney failure 😭 today he crossed the rainbow 🌈 bridge and a piece of me is missing.
#15 – Story shared by Alexandra Richard Taylor
We typically rescue people so this call was definitely special to begin with. We got a call that some mountain bikers found a dog stuck 40ft down in a sinkhole in the middle of a national forest. They had no equipment with them and the dog seemed terrified and hungry. That’s when we decided to take the 45 minute trip up the mountain.
We met one of the bikers at the bottom of the trail, and hiked 2 miles until we came upon the abandoned mine shaft. What we saw when we looked inside hit us to the core. A terrified looking dog that had been stuck for at least a week, miles away from civilization. How did he get here? How long had he really been out here? We had so many questions but we we’re there to help.
After a few pieces of beef jerky and some calm talking, we were able to lower a rescuer into the hole. He made a harness and safely secured the dog to be raised out. He was so scared that he wouldn’t let any of us touch him. He was nipping, growling, and jumping. He was subsequently taken to our local shelter to try to find his owners and for an evaluation. Miraculously, he only had a few cuts, but they estimated he had been without food for at least two weeks. His owners were never found and he was put up for adoption. We immediately went to the shelter and adopted him.