How My Dog Saved My Life

I don’t know about you, but whenever I see a news story involving an animal pop up on Facebook or Twitter — I automatically click. I’m such a sucker for inspiring or uplifting stories about pets. I also love any opportunity to help rescue dogs and find them happy homes. Hi, I’m Kait and I’m a crazy dog lady.
If you’ve been reading here for awhile, you’ve met my beautiful dog, Judy, but if not…
Dane and I have known for a very long time how special Judy is. From the time we got her, she has had a sweet demeanor and spunky personality. For anyone reading that has met Judy in real life, you know her goofy tendencies. She’s just a fun-loving, happy dog. 
 Before we even got a dog, we knew that we wanted to enroll him or her in a therapy dog program to help wounded warriors at the local hospital. Judy took to training immediately — listening to commands and acting accordingly. She was a dream come true to train – honestly! 
Around the time Judy was entering her second year of training, we hit a setback. I was sexually assaulted and I watched as life fell apart around me. We moved and I fell into a life filled with depression and constant anxiety. I failed to maintain friendships, my job and, ultimately, my happiness. I knew I needed to ask for help and when I summoned the courage to do it, I was diagnosed with PTSD.
Through this whole ordeal, Judy was my ray of sunshine — always happy to see me, never leaving my side and periodically forcing me off the couch to go outside.
So many people always tell me, “it’s so nice that your dog is helping people” and while I usually nod, I can’t help but want to yell “She’s the one who helps me!”. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine that Judy is the one who would save me.
Before all of this, I had strong beliefs about helping dogs, but now I am even more passionate. Animals have such a soothing nature to them and I can’t imagine what my life would be like without Judy. I was so excited when I found out that PEDIGREE® will donate a bowl of food to a dog in need for the entire month of October anytime a PEDIGREE® product is purchased at Sam’s Club. How awesome is that?
Because of Judy’s allergies, she has to eat medicated dog food, but we headed out to Sam’s Club anyhow and snagged a 55-pound bag of PEDIGREE® Adult Dry Dog Food and dropped it off at a local shelter on our way home. PEDIGREE® DENTASTIX® happen to be a fan favorite at our house, so we grabbed a box of those, too. You can never have enough treats, right?!
Knowing we were helping to feed hungry pets made us both so happy!


Can’t make it to Sam’s Club? No worries! You can upload a photo of the dog you love to Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #LaterShelter for a chance to be featured on The PEDIGREE® brand will donate a bowl of food for every upload.
Are you an animal lover? Be sure to check out more heartfelt stories here
I’d love to hear about your favorite pet!


  • Oh Kait. I did not know that happened and I hate so very much that you had to go through that. Fletcher the hound dog gives Judy a high paw for being such a great companion and friend during your recovery. And I am sending a virtual hug for turning an awful experience into a way to reach out to and help other women.

  • You are amazing for sharing your story! I love your sweet girl! Gotta get Caesar to pose so that we can upload a photo!

  • Jen

    Such an amazing journey you have been on with her! 🙂

  • Jen

    I love me some Judy Hanson. And you. 🙂

  • I agree with the other ladies, you're amazing and brave to share your story. Thank you!

  • Judy is a special lady, that's for sure! I'm sure my family is envious of her train-ability; they have a 5 month old chocolate lab puppy and he is proving to be quite the terror! Thank you, as always, for your bravery and candidness on this space!

  • Pets in general are just amazing, but I have a soft spot in my heart for dogs and stories like yours are exactly why! I can't even begin to count the number of times my dog has lifted my mood and made me keep going. So glad you have Judy and she has you!

  • Judy sounds so incredible, and she's gorgeous at that! I want a dog so badly, but what with living in an apartment in a city, no way to bring him to work with me (well, he'd be allowed to come to work, but he's not allowed on my commute!), and a desire to travel more in the near future, I really can't offer a dog what I want to give it right now. But someday! Someday!

  • So sad to hear that you were assaulted, but incredibly thankful that you had your dog. He is lucky to have you and you he! Thank you for sharing your story #client

  • I had no idea girly! This post is amazing and so is the one where you tell your story. I'm so proud of you for sharing.

    Lura (@domesticability on IG…toby's mom)

  • Thank you for sharing your story. I am glad you had a friend to help you through your trauma. God bless you both.