Are Rescue Dogs Grateful?

Angel and Chase

Angel and Chase
Angel and Chase
Someone mentioned to me the other day how rescue dogs always seem so grateful for their new families and homes. That they so appreciate having a great place to live, fun things to do, and a family to love them.

But when I think about my rescue dogs, grateful isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. In fact, I don’t think my rescue dogs are grateful at all. First off, I think grateful is a human emotion, not a canine one. Though I guess maybe Angel could have been grateful. To me, though, she just seemed more relieved to have a safe place to live finally.

Tatum… she isn’t grateful at all. LOL. She’s our princess, and it seems to me that she thinks she deserves every second of her pampered life. In fact, I would interpret her behavior as being entitled. She has a lot of confidence at home, and thinks she deserves the best treats, the best sleeping spots, and when other dogs get close to her when she is resting, they get an earful of growl. It’s like she’s saying “he’s touching me, stop touching me!” I need to get some pictures of her with her teeth showing, or some art prints of her, she is such a goof.

Chase and Muffit are just happy to do whatever. They love to run and expend their energy. But they don’t coddle or fuss over us either. They don’t seem to exhibit any behavior that I would label as gratefulness. But they are both Border Collies, so maybe that has a lot to do with it too. *shrug*

So anyway, do your rescue dogs seem to be grateful? Mine don’t. But I’d rather have it that way. I want my dogs to be as confident as possible. Strong either with me around, or on their own. Secure in themselves. That’s the kind of life I try to give them.

6 thoughts on “Are Rescue Dogs Grateful?”

  1. My personal dogs aren’t rescued, but I work with a lot of rescues at my job (service dog training) and none of them act grateful! They seem excited to be on a new adventure and glad to be out of the shelter but that’s about it.

    Part of the reason that all the dogs come in for final training (most aren’t rescues) and live at the kennels is so they can become a little bit starved for attention. While we love them up as much as we can during their final training, they aren’t in a home environment. So when they are finally placed with a client they bond more quickly. But I still wouldn’t consider their behavior grateful!

  2. I love your honest take on this question and I agree wholeheartedly!
    We have rescue cats – I doubt the idea of grateful ever enters their minds!

  3. I think we humans expect our dogs to feel a lot of the same emotions we do, and of course they don’t. But it makes us feel better! I have one dog, that’s all I can manage…and she is very sure that she is entitled to the best of everything including hogging all the pillows on the sofa.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! 🙂

  4. I agree, being grateful is a human emotion (for some people), not for a dog. Each dog has it’s own personality and deals with each situation differently. It is fun to watch a rescue’s behavior change over time though. Most of them are just looking to be a dog. I have three rescues, 2 labs and a miniature dachshund. Each one has handled the transition to a forever home differently and all but one are much more confident than when they came to me. Max had enough confidence as it was. LOL. Suprising after having been in four homes before he was six months old.

  5. We had a lab that recently passed, and she was grateful. She was so well behaved dog we ever took in. Never did anything bad, sweet as can be. I guess in her way she was grateful to have found a good home and family. We do have a cat that behaves just like your Tantum. lol. She is the queen of the house.

  6. Well, I have adopted a dog I found in a very bad condition on the road and he is definitely grateful!!!! I have rescued other dogs in the past, not from shelters but straight from the road or wherever I found them. They have all been extremely faithful and grateful. They are so happy when they see me, they always want to be with me…After all, how do you describe “grateful”in humans? We are not so different from animals…

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