8 Inspirational Dog Stories That Will Melt Your Heart

We could all do with a dose of happy these days, wouldn’t you say? And nothing says “happy” quite like a heartwarming story of man’s best friend.

We’ve rounded up eight of the sweetest, most inspiring dog stories we could find. These pups are brave. They’re resilient. And above all, they’re loving to their core.  

# 1—Miniature Schnauzer Visits Owner in the Hospital

Nothing can stand in the way of true love. And no one proved this better than Sissy, a devoted Schnauzer who couldn’t stand to be separated from her hospitalized owner, Nancy Franck. 

Sissy was no ordinary Schnauzer. This spirited pup took canine devotion to the next level by escaping her family home to track down her human, traveling 20 miles in the process. Nancy’s husband Dale was astonished when he received a call from a hospital security guard informing him that they had found Sissy on the hospital grounds.

Talk about loyalty!

# 2—Missing dog treks 60 miles to her old home

Some ties can’t be broken. This was certainly the case with Cleo, a yellow labrador-mix who went missing earlier this month. Thankfully, Cleo was found, but it was in the unlikeliest of places—her owner’s previous home.

When Colton Michael found an unfamiliar dog on his porch, he assumed it belonged to a nearby neighbor. Once he earned Cleo’s trust, Michael took her to have her microchip scanned. The results were astonishing—Cleo belonged to his home’s previous owner! Even after two years, Cleo was still attached to her old house.

Despite what they say, you really can go home again.

# 3—Dog saves owner’s life by detecting cancer

When Lauren Gauthier adopted a one-eyed rescue dog named Victoria, she had no idea that this intuitive pooch would one day save her life. 

It was Victoria’s persistent sniffing of a red blemish on Lauren’s nose that drove the owner to schedule a doctor’s appointment to check things out. Suspicions were confirmed when testing came back positive for basal cell carcinoma.

Lauren underwent surgery to remove the cancer, and has her beloved dog to thank for sounding the alarm. 

# 4—Great Dane helps boy with cerebral palsy walk again

Dogs can be the ultimate motivators. This proved to be true for Hunter VanBrocklin, a young boy with cerebral palsy who underwent surgery for hip dysplasia in 2016. When Hunter needed to learn how to walk again, his beloved  Dane, Wendy, rose to the occasion. With a gentle leader harness around her neck, Wendy helped Hunter maintain his balance, making it possible for the boy to enjoy active pursuits—even hiking!

# 5—Retriever saves 27 people from drowning

Retrievers are known for being skilled swimmers, but Swansea Jack was a cut above the rest. Jack, a black retriever, lived with his owner near the River Tawe in Wales during the 1930s. This tenacious pup earned his status as “hero” after rescuing a boy who was drowning in the river, pulling him to shore by the scruff of his neck. 

One heroic feat is more than most dogs will accomplish in their lifetimes, but for Jack this was just the beginning. Over the course of a decade, this fearless swimmer saved at least 27 people from the treacherous river! Jack’s rescues were honored with a number of rewards, including a silver collar from the local council, a Silver Cup from the mayor of London, and two bronze medals from the National Canine Defense League. 

A statue stands in Jack’s honor on the St. Helen’s Rugby Ground, and he was even dubbed “Dog of the Century” in 2000 by the Newfound Friends of Bristol. 

# 6—Barry the Saint Bernard

Did you know that Saint Bernards were bred by monks in the 1800’s specifically to rescue travelers stranded in the snowy Swiss Alps? One special dog named Barry took his job very seriously, saving 40 people in his lifetime. 

Even after his death, Barry’s legacy was immortalized by the Swiss monks who continue to keep one dog named Barry in their monastery at all times.

# 7—Collie recovers missing World Cup

Just months before the 1966 FIFA World Cup tournament was to be held, an unthinkable crime was committed—someone had stolen the Cup! The ensuing frenzy to find the missing trophy was resolved when a Londoner named David Corbett was walking his Collie, Pickles. When something in the bushes caught Pickles’ attention, he walked over to sniff around. In this case, the dog’s curious nose paid off—he had found the missing Cup!

Pickle’s discovery catapulted him into a life of fame and fortune. A pet food manufacturer named him “Dog of the Year,” and rewarded him with a year’s worth of free dog food. Pickles also attended a celebration banquet in his honor and starred in several movies and TV shows.

# 8—Golden Retriever wards off poisonous snake

In 2004, a courageous Golden named Brutis risked his own life to save a young girl who was perilously close to a deadly coral snake. As the snake slithered closer, Brutis snatched the predator, enduring a nasty bite in the process. Thankfully, this fearless canine survived and went on to receive the National Hero Dog award.

We wouldn’t be surprised if one of these selfless acts of canine heroism inspired you to march straight over to your local animal shelter in search of your new best friend. Or maybe you already have a plucky pup at home. Either way, these eight dogs are in a league of their own, and we enthusiastically applaud their bravery.