Surprised by Dog: Happy Ending Stories

While we’re waiting to receive the good news that Mel Freer’s missing foster dog, Lady, has been found, I thought I’d post a few links to happy ending stories.

Golden Retriever Puppy Tail

Where's that happy ending?

These aren’t dramatic stories about dogs who scale mountains and swim oceans to return to their families.

They are just small, every day triumphs in the lives of people you may know. If you missed them the first time, enjoy them now.

Dogs who exceed our expectations


The site, Kenzo the Hovawart, lends a touch of class to the pet blog world. With its detailed information about tracking work and commitment to ending breed discrimination, KtH is a serious-minded and thoughtful stop on my regular blog reading schedule.

But the story of reactive Viva having her first professional grooming touched my heart. If you’ve ever worried about what might happen if you weren’t around to manage your fearful dog’s reactions, read this happy ending story here.

Shiva (I couldn’t resist the rhyme with Viva)

The only blog about a tornado on a leash, Rescued Insanity, constantly surprises me. Sometimes it’s thoughtful and reflective. Other times it’s funny. And sometimes it’s both.

Drunken Master IV: Canine Fu tells the story of… Well, I’m not going to ruin it for you. You just have to read it yourself. Click here for another happy ending story of a reactive dog who defied expectations.


I think Will My Dog Hate Me is the only animal blog I follow written by someone with her doctorate in words. And it shows. The blog is witty and smart and I’ve never found a typo anywhere.

But I most love the posts where Edie’s love for her spunky pup Frankie shines through.

One of my favorites was when Edie told the story of taking Frankie on his first airplane ride. I felt like I was reading an adventure story and I couldn’t wait to discover how our hero would handle the challenges along the way.

You can read this happy ending story at Pet Travel, Triumphant! Frankie’s Flying Colors.

Some dogs meet our expectations and are just wonderful


Tales and Tails tells its stories with text and photos. It’s beautiful and I feel good reading it.

It’s the blog that reminds me of that pretty and popular girl you knew in school that you just couldn’t help liking even though you knew you should be terribly jealous.

Every photo on this blog is beautiful but one of Blueberry greeting her special fan stayed in my mind. You can find this short and lovely post here.

Sometimes we just need to read happy stories

I’m neglecting many other happy ending stories. And I’m sorry. But if you want to post a link in the comments to your favorite, please do.

It’s good to read about happy endings sometimes.

Help create a happy ending story

Lady, Shetland SheepdogAs I mentioned in the beginning, Mel’s foster dog Lady is still missing.

If you tweet, please retweet: Lost #Sheltie in #Eagan #Minnesota. Brown and white. Afraid of people. Tweet @melzpetpals if you see her.

And visit Mel’s blog to receive the latest updates and see how you can help.

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  1. Thank you for this shout out, Pamela — and for paying attention to my words. Since the most traffic I ever had on my blog came from my pictures of dogs wearing international costumes, I sometimes wonder why I bother. I really need these reminders.

    Frankie decided to go on a hunger strike yesterday, I think in solidarity for Mel’s missing Lady. He had breakfast this morning so he may know something the rest of us don’t. Paws crossed!

    I love all these other blogs too for the reasons you mention: The drama of everyday life with dogs.

    • You’re very welcome, Edie. I have to say I didn’t look at your international dog costumes post because it’s not what I love about Will My Dog Hate Me. But who knows, maybe a few people who came for the pix stayed for the posts.

      I love the care you put into all your posts–even if you don’t have a paycheck waiting at the end for them. :)

  2. I have to come back later and read all the stories, but thank you for mentioning me! That is one of my favorite Blueberry moments ever. Those pictures just warm my heart, still! Later I’ll tell you the rest of the story!

    • I do hope you’ll tell the rest of the story when you have time. I got the sense there was more to that tale than you shared.

      I enjoy all your posts. But that little story and the pictures have stayed with me a long time.

  3. Thank you so much for sharing these positive stories – and thanks for the kind shout-out as well. Some days I am overwhelmed by how far Shiva has come. Just the other day a friend – who has trained with us for the last six months – told me she had no idea Shiva was ever reactive until I mentioned it. It made me so happy. Of course there are other days when I wonder if she has improved at all, but we’re focusing on the good right now. 😉

    Hopefully we will have many happy endings to share before too long!

    • What a triumph! Shiva passed as non-reactive. I’d say that’s something to be proud of.

      Look forward to seeing more happy ending stories on your blog.

  4. We’ve already got a few of those blogs on our reader, but will check out the others! I’m glad to hear Lady has been found!


    • Hope you enjoy the blogs. They’re long time favorites of mine.

      Just to clarify, Lady is still missing. So anything you can do to spread the word is appreciated.

  5. Thanks for the great stories. I do hope Lady is found…I had a foster dog of my own, and a former foster who had moved to a new foster’s home, both go missing for weeks. Both of those stories had happy endings–the dogs were both found and adopted and are in loving homes to this day–so I will go on over and post some encouragement to Mel.

    • I think all of us have had a scary dog loss story or near miss. That’s why so many people have rallied to Mel’s aid.

      Thank you for passing on your own happy ending story. :)

    • I am very glad to hear that Kirsten. I have heard many stories with happy endings and that gives me hope!

  6. Thank you for this bit of sunshine in my otherwise very dreary day!

  7. Thanks for the links to happy stories. Sometimes, I get so caught up in the sturm und drang of dog to dog inter-action, I forget to celebrate and truly enjoy the daily, happy stories I see and feel, esp. of the quiet ones like Blueberry. I follow most everyone but had not met Blueberry – what a joyful story and the looks on those boys faces in the last photo is priceless.

    • Glad I was able to introduce you to such a lovely blog. Tales and Tails is terrific.

      And you’re right, when you’re managing multiple dogs every day, it’s hard to take time to sit back and see the positive things you’ve been a part of.

  8. This is a really excellent list, thank you so much for compiling it, I think I may have found some more favourites here! xx

  9. Between your feel-good stories and Kristine’s poetry I think everyone is trying to make everyone else feel better in light of Lady’s disappearance. Thanks for the links (there, expressing more gratitude ;)).

    • I don’t think we can ever have enough gratitude. :)

      Unfortunately, Kristine and I can’t do anything more for Mel than just try to make folks feel better.

  10. I’m back! I knew I’d love all of those stories, and I was right! I needed a post like this today.

    The rest of the story will have to be told here. The little boy who was such a big fan of Blueberry was a very challenging student for us. During the time he was there, I actually began to wonder if I could still do my job everyday. We have most of our students for two years. In our classroom we have a class of four-year-olds and a class of threes. When that little boy was three, early in the first school year, he began showing us signs that there were things that were wrong. He taught us how to roll joints with Play Doh. As the year went on, we started seeing a lot of really violent behavior. He was witnessing a lot of domestic violence at home. Early in his second school year with us, he and his sister were taken from his mother’s custody after a neighbor filed a complaint with DCFS. They went to live with their grandparents, and began doing much, much better. However, we had an anger management problem, and even his grandparents were afraid of him in a way. I don’t blame him for being angry. He was in an awful position that a lot of adults wouldn’t be able to cope with. Through the year, we had bouts of him completely dismantling our classroom, physically assaulting us, hurting his peers when he didn’t get his way and really trying to engage us in arguments. When he was good, though, he was really good and we worked hard with him. One thing he loved was having visits with the dogs, and I always knew that if they were there that he was going to be okay. Being around them just relaxed his whole body and that winning smile just couldn’t be contained. He’s not the first kid I saw have that reaction, but it was very profound to see it in him. The day Blueberry visited was near the end of the school year, and the end of his time with us. He has since gone on to kindergarten, but I am not sure where. He’s one of the kids that I still worry about and pray for success for. He’s one of those kids that I just wished I could take home in my pocket, and I hope that one day, he has a dog of his own!

    • I hope he has a dog in his near future too.

      Thanks for sharing the rest of the story.

    • Oh wow Carrie. You see that little boy’s face all lit up and you can’t even imagine he has suffered so greatly in such a short time. I am so glad Blueberry was able to give him that smile on that day. Dogs. They are magical aren’t they?

  11. Wonderful list of stories… and much needed this week. Thanks for that – you always seem to have the perfect post to help me put things in perspective.

    My fingers, toes, eyes, and anything else I can find are crossed that Lady comes home soon.

  12. What a wonderful list!! You did a great job tying this all together!
    I am keeping my paws crossed for Mel and Lady! I just know that there is going to be a happy ending!

  13. Such a great post – I love reading all the tales from everyone here and they nearly always make me smile, but I am so sad about Lady :(

  14. Pamela – Thank you so much for sharing some uplifting and funny and “happy ending” stories. I needed that. Seeing Blueberry with those kids was so wonderful and reading about Viva slumbering beneath the grooming table made me smile and, of course, I remember Kristine’s post quite well and reading it again gave me the laughter I needed. Thank you for also continuing to share Lady’s story. I am hoping for a happy ending soon so I can share it with you. :)

  15. Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

  16. This is a particularly lovely post, Pamela. It’s made a lot of people very happy, me included:) Thank you for writing it. Still got fingers and toes crossed that Lady will get home soon.

  17. Happy endings are best when they seem most unlikely :)
    Thanks for your kind words about our blog.


  1. […] up with our lists.  I hope you enjoy them.  And if happy, feel good stories are for you, visit Something Wagging  This Way Comes.  She’s got a great list of feel good stories on her blog […]