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A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

13 Photos That Prove There’s Nothing Like the Love of a Child and Their Pet

A beloved pet strengthens our hearts, opens our minds, and brings out the best in us.

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George EricksonReminisce/Courtesy George Erickson

The guard dog

Lady guards two of her favorite humans, Lars and Chris Erickson, at the family home in Eveleth, MN. The boys’ father rescued her as a pup in a remote Canadian village in the late 1960s. –George Erickson, Eveleth, MN

These adorable animal pictures will make you say “Awww.”

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Hazel AlmendingerReminisce/Courtesy Hazel Almendinger

The class clown

Jake stuck to me like glue and came to school with me every day. In 1950, my fifth-grade teacher tried to scare him away, but Jake always came back. Now my daughter, who is a teacher, takes her dog Sawyer to class. Today they call them therapy dogs. Jake and I were way ahead of our time. –Hazel Almendinger, Johnstown, OH

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Nancy O'BrienReminisce/Courtesy Nancy O'Brien

The sunny sonny

We found this little guy in an Orlando, Florida, trash bin while on a trip to Disney World. Santino—yes, we named him after James Caan’s character in The Godfather—has been with us for over 10 years. –Nancy O’Brien, Sarasota, FL

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Dianne StevensReminisce/Courtesy Dianne Stevens

The lifesaver

Bobo was devoted to my older sister, Kathryn, and me. When I was a toddler, he kept me from falling into a brook. My father took this picture in 1953. –Dianne Bingham, Stevens Hoosick Falls, NY

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Clara KoussaReminisce/Courtesy Clara Koussa

The imitator

My sister Irma and our aunt’s dog Tiger are yawning, but it’s hard to tell who’s the follower and who’s the leader here. The photo was taken in the winter of 1953 in Richmond, California. –Clara Koussa, Napa, CA 

These photos of baby wild animals will instantly brighten your day.

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jeanette poehlmannReminisce/courtesy Jeanette Poehlmann

The protector

Mother always said she was never afraid while Daddy was serving overseas in the Navy from 1943 to ’46 because we had our precious dog, Spot, to protect us. He would be on the back steps every morning and wouldn’t allow any strangers to come into the yard. –Jeanette Poehlmann, Brenham, TX

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Gwen AsplundhReminisce/Courtesy Gwen Asplundh

The cock-a-doodle-doo

My husband, Edward, raised chickens as a boy. Here he is during World War II with his favorite rooster, Tojo. –Gwen Asplundh, Huntingdon Valley, PA

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judy pearceReminisce/courtesy Judy Pearce

The bathing companion

When I was a girl, I didn’t play with dolls; I had my bantam chickens. This photo is from the mid-1940s when I was about 4. Whenever Mom gave me a bath, my little hen Bitsy would watch from her perch on the closed lid of the toilet. –Judy Pearce, Carpinteria, CA

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Suzy MoffittReminisce/Courtesy Suzy Moffitt

The gift

Fiffy was my present for my 10th birthday in the spring of 1966, and then my companion for the next 11 years. That little dog was the best birthday gift ever. My sister Evelyn is sitting beside me outside our house in Prairie Village, Kansas. –Suzy Moffitt, South Bend, IN 

This photo can predict if you’re a dog or cat person.

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Michael LacivitaReminisce/Courtesy Michael Lacivita

The model

Ike, a 100-pound boxer, was a gentle giant who jumped over a small privet hedge many times so I could capture this perfect shot of him. –Michael Lacivita, Youngstown, OH

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Carolyn NagyReminisce/Courtesy Carolyn Nagy

The prize winner

My dad thought I was crazy to enter Cinder in a contest in 1950. Imagine his surprise when we came home with a second-place ribbon and trophy! My mother laid on the horn for two blocks to announce our success, then we proudly posed with my little sister Rosemary. –Carolyn Nagy, Aiken, SC

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Carol OberlechnerReminisce/Courtesy Carol Oberlechner

The adoptee

Here is Jo, a very special part of our family, with my daughter Tiffany in 1993. Jo spent many years loving us. And we will spend the rest of our lives loving her. –Carol Oberlechner, Smithfield, PA

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Libby OrendorffReminisce/Courtesy Libby Orendorff

The loyal soldier

My brother Charles and Blackie took me to class every morning and saw me home each afternoon. Here are my protectors in 1951—they gave me so much love.  –Libby Orendorff, Dickinson, TX 

These adorable puppy pictures will make you melt.

Originally Published in Reminisce