Woman Finds Love With the Help of Her Service Dog

Wherever 31-year-old Sally Whitney goes, almost everyone stops to look at her. But it’s not that they’re staring at her, or what’s in her shopping bag, or even at her wheelchair. Everyone just wants to get a glimpse of her amazing service dog, Ethan, pay for her groceries and put the receipt carefully into Sally’s bag. “Before I had him, I felt like a burden and a drain on society,” Sally said in an interview with the Yorkshire Post.

Sally Whitney and Ethan
Source: Twitter

But now, thanks to a new project at the University of Sheffield, the British native is finally starting to feel like she deserves to live a happy and fulfilled life, and even credits Ethan for helping her meet her husband.

Let’s take a look at how Ethan not only changed Sally’s outlook, but led her to the love of her life!

A Healthy, Happy Kid

Sally grew up in Bedfordshire, England, a quaint town with country views around 40 miles outside of London. For the most part, she had a healthy and happy childhood. Sally lived in a modest house with her parents, younger brother, and a lot of cats. Her parents took their kids’ education very seriously, which worked out for Sally because she loved going to school and had dreams of becoming a doctor.

Sally Whitney
Source: Twitter

The only health issues that Sally can remember from her childhood are from her days as a ballet dancer. Her teacher would make comments about Sally’s joints and said that they moved in a strange way. But other than that, Sally was perfectly healthy, or so she thought…

A Change of Plans

Sally didn’t get sick until her last year of high school. At the time, the then 17-year-old was busy preparing to get accepted into medical school to specialize in obstetrics. She studied every day, got excellent grades, and made sure to make time in her busy schedule to get work experience in the healthcare field. But then, one day, Sally started having seizures.

Sally lying in a hospital bed with her service dog at her side
Source: Twitter

She eventually became so sick that she lost all movement in her body except for her right arm. Her parents rushed her to the hospital, where she stayed for over eight months and was fed through a feeding tube. Doctors were stumped. They had no idea what was wrong with her, and Sally began to lose hope that she would ever feel better.

Finally, An Answer

Then finally, in 2008, Sally’s doctors diagnosed her with Lupus. Lupus is an autoimmune disease that causes the body’s immune system to become overly active and attack healthy tissues in the body. The disease is very difficult to diagnose because it shares the same symptoms as other diseases, which explains why it took doctors over eight months to figure out what was wrong with Sally.

Sally and Ethan
Source: Twitter

But unfortunately for Sally and her family, there is no cure for Lupus. This meant that even though doctors knew what was wrong with her, they couldn’t prevent her from violent seizures that could sometimes last for hours. Sadly, she spent the next few months in and out of the hospital, with no end to her suffering in sight.

Her New Normal

It became clear to Sally that although she loved studying medicine, she was never going to have the physical strength or stamina to actually become one. But education and a career in the medical field was still important to Sally, so she switched her major from obstetrics to cognitive science at the University of Sussex. Everything seemed to be going fine as Sally adjusted to her new normal.

Sally next to Ethan, who is holding her wallet
Source: Facebook

Although she was still suffering from violent seizures and had to give up her dream of becoming a doctor, Sally finally had the peace of mind of having a diagnosis and explanation as to why all of this was happening to her. But then in 2012, Sally received another piece of bad news.

Double the Trouble

While studying cognitive science at the University of Sussex, Sally was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. This rare genetic disease causes the connective tissue in the body to become stretchy, meaning there is not much supporting the body’s organs, bones, muscles, or blood vessels. Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, on its own, can be potentially life-threatening, but the combination with Lupus drastically increases Sally’s chance of having a fatal seizure.

Sally and Ethan
Source: Facebook

Not only does the combination cause Sally to dislocate all of her joints every time she seizes, but it affects the way all of her organs and blood vessels act. Every time she stands up, blood flows down to her legs but doesn’t make it back up to her heart, causing her to pass out or have another seizure.

Lucky to Be Alive

Between 2013 and 2016, Sally was rushed to the intensive care unit a total of ten times. This meant that Sally’s parents could not leave her alone for one second out of fear that she would have a seizure while she was by herself. Eventually, Sally’s doctors suggested that the family hire a private nurse that can monitor her at all times.

Sally, Ethan, and another woman posing in a parking lot
Source: Facebook

Sally also became a full-time wheelchair user. Although she was slowly losing control of her life, Sally remembers not feeling depressed during that time. After everything she had gone through, she felt lucky just to be alive. The only thing that was hard for her was the loss of her independence. Sally’s need for a full-time nurse made her feel like a burden.

A New Hope

Once a happy and bubbly teenager, Sally soon began to lose hope. When reflecting on this time in her life, Sally says that it got to the point where she couldn’t draw the line between her diseases and herself. She felt guilty about needing a full-time nurse and didn’t know what she offered the world. Sally knew she needed a change in her life. She just didn’t know what.

Ethan sitting in front of magazines
Source: livinglifetothefullest.org

But one day, Sally’s cousin came to her with an idea. She had just seen a demonstration in London by the Canine Partners charity and thought that a service dog would be a great addition to Sally’s care team. Sally, who loves dogs, immediately fell in love with the idea.

Worth the Wait

The next day, Sally contacted the Canine Partners headquarters in West Sussex. The charity, who just recently celebrated its 30th anniversary, specializes in specially trained service dogs for people with physical disabilities. Each dog is carefully trained to match their owner’s needs, no matter how challenging.

Sally and Ethan on a stage with people around them
Source: Twitter

They can load and unload the washing machine and even take your credit card from the ATM. But most importantly, the dogs are trained to fetch help when there’s an emergency. After filling out all of the required paperwork, Sally patiently waited for her new puppy. In 2015, almost two years after submitting her application, she got the call about Ethan, a 14-month-old puppy trained especially for her. To say Sally was ecstatic is an understatement.

Sally, Meet Ethan

Meeting Ethan for the first time was nerve-racking, to say the least. The entire way to the Canine Partners, Sally felt like she was on her way to meet a blind date for the first time. She didn’t know if there was going to be a connection, if the puppy would listen to her, or if his advanced training could actually help her lead an easier life.

Ethan sitting with a bowtie on
Source: Facebook

But her nerves settled the second Ethan walked into the room. “Ethan came in, and I just fell for his super-long silky ears and massive eyes,” Sally told reporters from the Mirror. The two shared an instant connection, which made Ethan’s transition to Sally’s voice commands a lot easier.

It’s Moving Day!

By the time Ethan was ready to move into Sally’s apartment, he was fully trained. The charity has a team of volunteers who go through a special two-year dog training program. The dogs spend between 12 to 14 months with their “puppy parents” where they learn basic obedience and how to not be startled by big scary things, such as loud noises, crowds of people, and other animals.

Ethan in the refrigerator
Source: Twitter

As Ethan grew, he was moved to one of the Canine Partner’s centers, where he underwent more advanced training. That’s where he learned how to open up kitchen cabinets, push buttons, and unload a washing machine. As his move-in date with Sally neared, he spent two weeks at her apartment to make sure he responded well to her commands.

A Life Saver

Now that Sally has Ethan, she doesn’t know how she ever lived without him. Before he arrived, it was too dangerous for her to shower alone because of her seizures. But now, she can shower without having to worry that she’ll pass out or have a seizure and no one will find her. Ethan not only comes into the bathroom with Sally, but he even passes her shampoo and her towel when she’s finished.

Ethan brought Sally her water bottle
Source: Twitter

Honestly, there’s nothing that Ethan can’t do. If Sally does pass out, Ethan alerts her nurse. He does everyday chores like putting her dirty clothes in the laundry basket, fetches her jeans from her drawers, and her shoes from her closet. Ethan can get food from the refrigerator, and fetch her phone, and even help her change her clothes.

Always A Good Boy

Even when Sally is out shopping at her local supermarket, Ethan helps her out by paying for her groceries using a contact-free payment method. This usually causes a lot of oohs and ahhs from other customers in line, but because Ethan is so well trained, he doesn’t get distracted. But just to be safe, Ethan always wears a vest that lets well-meaning people know that he has a special job to do and cannot be distracted by treats or petting.

Ethan swiping Sally’s credit card for her
Source: Twitter

But when Ethan is off the job, Sally makes sure he gets all the treats and attention he wants. His favorite snacks range from dog biscuits and peanut butter to carrots and cheese from a tube. He is also let off the leash to run free and play with other dogs three times a week.

Just in Time

When Ethan isn’t running around off the leash, he is standing next to Sally’s wheelchair or sleeping next to her bed, ready to alert her nurse of an emergency. Although Ethan helps out Sally tremendously with her everyday tasks, he still has his limits. That’s why Sally still needs a nurse who can help her cook or give her medication.

Ethan getting Sally’s wallet from her purse
Source: Twitter

But after over five years together, Sally says that their bond is so strong that he can sense a seizure before anyone else can. Recently, Ethan started frantically licking Sally’s face out of the blue. Sally didn’t understand why, but a few minutes later, she felt lightheaded and passed out. Ethan was so quick to help that he notified her nurse who came just in time.

Always the Ice Breaker

Ethan doesn’t just alert Sally’s nurse when she’s having a seizure, but he also tries to make Sally feel more comfortable. Sometimes, Ethan will lie across Sally’s body to try and stop her from shaking and is always there to comfort her when she regains consciousness. Sally says that it’s reassuring to know that he will always be there when she wakes up, and not because he has to, but because he loves her.

Ethan posing with Sally
Source: Imgur

Ethan is also great at breaking the ice with strangers. Many people feel awkward or even scared to talk to a person in a wheelchair. But now, people tell Sally how cute Ethan is and it starts a conversation. This emotional support helped Sally realize that she’s loveable and not just a burden to those around her.

Living Life to the Fullest

Ethan also encouraged Sally to start working as a research associate at the University of Sheffield. She was hired to work on the Living Life to the Fullest Project, which is a research project dedicated to understanding the lives, hopes, and dreams of children with special needs. Early findings have shown that service dogs play a huge part in the lives of disabled people, from helping with everyday tasks to changing outlooks on life.

Sally and Ethan with a woman who rescued her
Source: Facebook

These findings, along with her own experience with a service dog, led Sally to start her own Canine Care Project, which takes a deeper look at the social and emotional effects that service dogs have on their owners. Researchers found that 86 percent of disabled young people feel more optimistic, and 91 percent have taken greater joy in everyday activities.

Getting Back Out There

Sally’s newfound optimism and confidence have also made her start thinking about getting married; something she didn’t think was possible just a few years ago. Sally said that it was hard for her to imagine herself dating while she was in a wheelchair and needed to be looked after all day every day. But now that she had Ethan, Sally finally had the confidence to put herself out there.

Sally and Ethan posing together
Source: Facebook

After debating what to put on her dating profile, Sally decided that it was important that she shared her disabilities with suiters and posted pictures of herself in a wheelchair with Ethan standing by her side. Other than her disabilities, Sally wanted them to know that she and Ethan were a package deal. Wherever she went, he came too.

A Match Made in Heaven

In 2016, just a year after receiving Ethan, Sally met Ed on a Christian dating site. For their first date, the now 35-year-old took Sally and, of course, Ethan, to a restaurant near her house. “It was amazing,” Sally told reporters. “Ed was so open to the fact that I had all of these, what I saw as vulnerabilities.” She also said that from the first moment she met Ed, he was welcoming and understanding of her situation, something Sally didn’t expect to find in a partner.

Sally sitting with Ethan looking at her intrigued
Source: Facebook

Ed also understood that if he wanted to win over Sally’s heart, he’d have to win over Ethan’s as well. Although the mathematics teacher never had any pets, he gets along great with Ethan and is very respectful of the service dog’s bond with Sally.

Will You Marry Me?

After dating for about a year, Ed decided that he couldn’t live without Sally (or Ethan). So, one day while the three were on a walk, Ed got down on one knee and asked Sally to marry him. Sally said yes, and the two were married soon after in August 2017. Ethan played a huge part in the wedding and even walked Sally down the aisle, while her dad walked closely behind.

Sally and Ethan on her wedding day
Source: Facebook

Since Sally isn’t allowed to fly, the newlyweds spent their honeymoon on a cruise to the Norwegian Fjords, but without Ethan. Sally felt like her honeymoon was the one time it should be just her and Ed, so she left him with one of her friends.

A Bright Future

These days, Sally is still enjoying life. She is doing well at her job and passionate about promoting the great work that Canine Partners does for young people with disabilities. She hopes that the work she’s doing will shine a light on the impact service dogs have on disabled people. In 2019, Ethan was given three awards for being such a good service dog and friend.

Sally and Ethan cozying up on a beach chair
Source: Facebook

After five years with Ethan, Sally can’t imagine her life without him. He has not only given her freedom from depending on others to perform everyday tasks, but he has added so much happiness and color to her life. As for Ethan, he’s still looking out for Sally, and waiting for his next peanut butter treat!

But Ethan isn’t the only dog that has saved a life. When Alhanna entered her fourth month of pregnancy, her dog Koela started acting strange.

If you aren’t a pet owner yourself, then you must have heard from those who are that animals tend to notice or detect things that just don’t fall into our human radar. Whether it’s a dog or a cat or other animals, they seem to have something of a sixth sense where they can pick up on the slightest change in energy. This is why they sometimes try to signal things to us by barking or scratching or whatever. This is exactly what happened with a dog named Keola and her pregnant owner, Alhanna Butler.

Ricky and Alhanna and their dog Keola
Source: Pinterest

When Alhanna and her fiance Ricky learned of her pregnancy, they were both overjoyed end excited to start a family. But Keola started acting weird around her owner when she was getting nearing four into her pregnancy. Alhanna didn’t really think much of her puppy’s actions and brushed it off. That was until she realized the reason behind why Keola kept barking and pawing her growing belly.

Becoming a Parent Was Alhanna’s Biggest Dream

When Alhanna and Ricky first met, it was pretty much love at first sight. They knew they were meant to be together. Even more than that, the young couple wanted to grow old together and start their own family. So they decided to try for a baby. But it was taking longer than they expected. At first, it felt like maybe their dream would just be a dream.

Ricky and Keola next to Alhanna’s pregnant belly
Source: viral-pins.com

They failed to conceive, but one day they found that their doubts were wrong. They got the amazing news they wanted to hear so much: Alhanna was expecting! Their tiny family about to start growing. But they had another baby to keep in mind, too. Alhanna’s furry little friend; her dog Keola. And Alhanna had no idea as to how precious Keola really was.

Alhanna Wasn’t the Only One Who Was Excited

Keola was Alhanna and Ricky’s other family member, who recognized pretty quickly what was going on. The American Akia knew that her mama bear was pregnant. Keola was already a sweet and cuddly furball, but seeing her mom in the state she was now in made her even sweeter. She was constantly at her side.

Alhanna and her dog on the couch
Source: lifewithdogs.tv

Keola would tend to Alhanna’s needs in her own way as she was day by day, getting more and more pregnant. Her belly swelled up, and Keola noticed. Instead of her usual night trips, Keola started preferring to relax on the couch in the evenings with her head rested on Alhanna’s growing belly. And Alhanna obviously didn’t mind at all – it was comforting!

But soon, Keola’s behavior started changing…

Keola Started Acting Strangely Towards Her Mom

When Alhanna entered her fourth month of pregnancy, the dog started acting strangely around her. The usually caring and sweet Keola changed and turned into something completely different. She was now whimpering at Alhanna’s belly all the time. It would go on for hours every single day as she was now pawing at the place she once laid her head-on.

Pregnant Alhanna taking a selfie in the mirror
Source: joorala.com

Keola even tried to bury her nose in her belly as if she wanted to get something out of her. But the expecting couple tried to ignore their dog’s unusual behavior. If they only knew what their little furry friend was trying to tell them! She wasn’t doing all this for no reason. And they would soon find out why.

Alhanna Felt as Though the Pregnancy Was Going Well

Being pregnant brought Alhanna pure joy. She felt lucky that she didn’t have any problems to deal with in these early days of pregnancy. Everything seemed normal. More than just normal – they seemed ideal! She and her fiancé couldn’t wait to meet their bundle of joy. By the looks of it, things were going so smoothly.

Alhanna and her dog on the couch
Source: gopicins.com

They assumed that dealing with the rest of the pregnancy was going to be a piece of cake. But Keola wouldn’t let up, and she didn’t seem excited anymore. She was still acting weird, but the couple dismissed her poking around at Alhanna’s belly as just being a phase. If only it was “just a phase”! Dogs have intuition, remember? She knew something they didn’t.

Alhanna Started Getting Horrible Pains

Everything was perfect until Alhanna hit her 16th week. She then started to have sharp and dreadful pains in her lower back. It left her barely being able to walk or even talk! As many would think in this kind of scenario, Alhanna was worried and imagined the worst. Was her baby really okay? She couldn’t help but fear a bad outcome.

Pregnant Alhanna taking a selfie in the mirror
Source: parentztalk.com

Would everything turn out alright, and would they still be able to become parents? Or would their dream of becoming parents be stripped away so soon? It got to the point that Alhanna needed to be taken to the hospital. They prayed that everything would be okay with the developing baby and that they would live out their dream of becoming parents.

Alhanna Was In the Hospital

Ricky rushed his fiancé to the hospital as fast as he possibly could, knowing that in cases like these, time is of the essence. At the hospital, a doctor examined Alhanna right away. To their relief, both the baby and Alhanna looked like they were doing fine. Thank goodness! They could finally breathe a sigh of relief.

Keola the dog
Source: graduatez.com

They were expecting scary news, but the doctors told Alhanna to get plenty of rest and take care of her body. It was clear that the pregnancy was taking a toll on her. They told her everything would be fine if she made sure to rest until their baby came into the world. So, Alhanna and Ricky went home and did just that.

But yet there was still something out of the ordinary…

Relieved and Tired

Ricky and Alhanna were definitely comforted by the news that everything was normal. Once they got home, Ricky and Alhanna were simply exhausted. They were happy that the fetus was healthy, and they just wanted to relax after dealing with the stress of what could have gone wrong. Alhanna was still experiencing sharp pains, though.

Ricky lying down on the carpet, exhausted
Source: vfxalll.com

And those sharp pains were uncomfortable, but she wasn’t as worried anymore. The doctor said things looked fine, and she trusted him and chalked it up as stress that needed to be dealt with by resting. She tried to deal with the pains by trying sleeping and cuddling with her dog when she was at home. But if Keola could talk, she would say that something is still wrong.

Keeping People Posted on Facebook

After making rest a full-time job, Alhanna would go on Facebook and update her friends and family on what was happening in her life. She put up a detailed post of all that went down in the last few days, telling people how her doctor had told her not to be worried or scared. She added that while she and her growing baby were fine, her other baby, Keola, was still being strange.

Alhanna and her dog on the couch
Source: graduatez.com

Alhanna got lots of support from everyone who caught the post. Aside from the support, she was also getting many people urging her to get everything checked once more. They were telling her that she should listen to what Keola was trying to tell her. Alhanna was starting to feel like maybe there was something she was missing.

Was Keola Really Noticing Something?

Alhanna was really confused. She believed and hoped that the doctors were right in saying that everything was fine. But then her dog was trying to tell her something, and people online were urging her to check it out. She was exhausted and didn’t want to bug her doctor and insist that something is wrong; they already stated that everything was normal.

Alhanna and her dog on the couch
Source: parentztalk.com

But the pains weren’t going away, and as time went on, Alhanna was slowly starting to realize that Keola might be right after all. Her dog had been acting strangely for a while now. Was she really trying to warn her that something was coming? What was it that this dog was sensing that the medical staff wasn’t able to pick up on?

Her Mom Got Involved

By now, Alhanna wasn’t sure what to do and who to listen to. She had her dog’s intuition and her own. She was caught between her family and friends, pressuring her to see the doctor again and not wanting to be that crazy patient who doesn’t trust doctors. Alhanna was baffled as to what would be the best course of action to take.

Alhanna and her mother at a baby shower
Source: gopicins.com

But someone stepped in and made sure she got another check-up, and it was none other than Alhanna’s mother. Her mom believed that her daughter’s puppy wasn’t acting odd for no reason. She convinced Alhanna that it wasn’t just a coincidence. But Alhanna decided to go to work and ignore the pain. But Keola literally got in her way.

The Over-Protective Pup Blocked the Door

The next morning, Alhanna was still acting tough. She got dressed up and headed out to work. When she was by the door and about to open to leave, Keola jumped in and blocked her. She wouldn’t let her dear mama step out. She was jumping, barricading the door, and whining to stop Alhanna from leaving. And this was not something Keola ever did.

Keola sitting down on the floor
Source: trendscatchers.co.uk

Considering how strange it was for Keola to be doing that, Alhanna stopped to listen to her dog and figure out what was going on. She was wondering what got into Keola so early in the day! And that’s when she collapsed. Ricky was luckily at home and saw what happened. He rushed Alhanna to the emergency room.

Keola Was Right All Along

Alhanna was back in the hospital again. And this time, she was given a series of tests to determine if anything serious was the underlying cause of her pain. Was her collapse due to pregnancy stress or something worse? Alhanna was eventually stabilized, and she asked for an explanation as to what had happened.

Alhanna and her friends at her baby shower
Source: joorala.com

She didn’t mention that she was there partially because of her dog made it so. As they waited for the test results, both the couple and Alhanna’s mom were wondering just how smart Keola was. And she was right indeed. The test results came back, and yes, something was wrong. It turns out that her little friend did sense something, and now there was medical proof.

Alhanna Had a Double Kidney Infection

It turns out that Alhanna’s pain was not imagined. It was real, and the dog sensed it from the beginning! Luckily, finding out that she had a kidney infection didn’t mean the baby was in harm’s way. Even though she was scared of her unborn child’s life, she would be treated and would get well – her and the baby.

Ultrasound photo of a fetus
Source: viral-pins.com

Alhanna’s doctor started her treatment immediately as it would be dangerous if they waited any longer. If they didn’t treat her right away, not only would she risk losing her child, but she could potentially lose her own life. The medical staff took it very seriously and put her on a course of antibiotics and advised the necessary care she needed to prevent further damage to her body and kidneys.

Getting Well

Although she knew she was being treated, Alhanna still feared the possibility of losing her pregnancy. Her unborn baby wasn’t even the only one she was worried about. She couldn’t stop thinking about Keola back home and how she kept trying to convey a message to her. After an awful week, Alhanna finished her medical regimen and got loads of rest.

Alhanna and her fiancé Ricky
Source: parentztalk.com

Eventually, she got well as she was being monitored by her doctor the whole time. Thankfully, everything worked out, and she and the baby were fine. The infection completely cleared up, and things went back to normal. Alhanna could finally relax. The pains were gone, and she was back on track. All that remained for her, and Ricky was the birth of their child!

Alhanna and Ricky Become Parents

The couple was so overjoyed! They finally fulfilled their dreams and gave birth to a baby boy. They had gone through a scary time, and their dreams were almost shattered, but now that was in the past. Now, they have baby Lincoln, and happy and healthy as could be! They couldn’t be more grateful for their dear Keola.

Alhanna and her fiancé Ricky and their baby and dog
Source: gopicins.com

They had to introduce Keola to their new addition to the family. And this wasn’t just any addition – this was a little life that Keola was not only expecting but protected while he was still growing inside of Alhanna! Finally, Keola was able to meet the child she was desperately trying to protect for so long. And she was clearly happy to make a new friend.

Welcoming Lincoln into the Home

After spending a couple of days in the hospital, Ricky and Alhanna were excited to go home, mostly to introduce their little one to Keola. Although Alhanna always loved her dog, the journey of her pregnancy and realizing that Keola was trying to save her and the baby just intensified her love and appreciation for the dog.

Alhanna and her baby Lincoln
Source: graduatez.com

Alhanna kept thinking about how Keola tried to save her so many times. She never gave up on her even though Alhanna and Ricky were both ignoring her behavior. Alhanna didn’t even know how to express what she felt for the pup. How could she ever repay the dog for what she did for her and their baby? She hoped Keola knew how much she appreciated her.

Keola Loves Her New Baby Brother

The couple came home with their new addition to the family. Keola was as excited to meet the boy as she was to see her parents again. When she realized mom and dad came home with her new little brother, she was ecstatic, and nothing could beat her joy. As they came home, it was like Keola had fallen in love with Lincoln!

Keola next to the baby’s crib
Source: joorala.com

She never left his side and stayed next to him as if she had known him forever. The two were now best buddies. Whether it’s naptime or playtime, both Keola and Lincoln are always together. It was like she and him were friends forever. And it was the cutest thing to see the two together.

Over-Protective but Gentle

Seeing these two together made everyone around them even more positive that animals really have some sort of sixth sense or psychic abilities. It was evident that they had a connection like no other. Keola was acting like a mother and a best friend to baby Lincoln. What’s even cuter is that Keola knows whenever it’s time to go out.

Keola sitting next to the baby
Source: vfxalll.com

When Alhanna starts getting her son dressed, Keola starts jumping up and down, excited to go on a trip with her favorite human beings. They have a real connection. But it’s not just mom and dad who think their bond is special. Everyone else around them sees it, too. Keola was so appreciated by everyone that she even got her own award!

Keola Receives an Award

Not only did Keola get to attend a ceremony with Alhanna and Ricky and get an award, but she also got loads of dog treats just as she deserved. Lincoln is small, but he understands how special his bond is with his furry friend. And everyone knows that it will only grow with time. Lincoln is a toddler now, and he’s growing up fast!

Keola and Ricky and Alhanna and the award she got
Source: joorala.com

His parents think back to how the incident in Alhanna’s pregnancy could’ve claimed the lives of their child and Alhanna herself. They always find themselves grateful for Keola and think it’s a blessing their son was saved and is healthy. What more could they ask for?

This story was special and proof that dogs know a lot more than people give them credit for. Next are some explanations for why dogs do the things they do.

Why Dogs Do What They Do

Too many people who don’t own one, a dog can seem like a nuisance or just another cute furry animal. Maybe some people like dogs but feel like they don’t have what it takes to train them. People get dogs for many different reasons too! Some for therapy, others for working purposes such as herding, police work, search and rescue, and gatekeeping, with many others getting dogs as a status symbol.

Keola lying down next to baby Lincoln
Source: joorala.com

Some get a small dog to keep at home and just to have something to pet, other individuals like to get big dogs because they see themselves as big and healthy too, or vice versa as well. However, the truth is that although some dogs may have more instinctual strengths than others, all dogs share the same body language. Moreover, they understand each other very well too. It’s this language that decides every dog’s status in the pack, and they inherited from their first ancestor, the Wolf.

Standing on Their Hind Legs

A dog getting up on its hind legs can mean many things. One of the things it means is that it’s a sign of affection. They want to get up and grab a hug just like any other human would. However, if they are hanging out with other dogs and get up on their hind legs, it could mean that they aren’t feeling playful. If they aren’t acting aggressively or growling at all, then this just means that they are playing.

Keola outside with baby Lincoln
Source: vfxalll.com

Chewing on the Furniture: Puppies are just like small babies. They like to chew on things to get rid of the pain from teething. If your pet is chewing on furniture and different things like this when he is no longer a puppy, it could mean something else. That doesn’t mean the dog is badly behaved or trying to destroy everything. This could just mean that they need more physical activity and probably need to be taken out more to release their energy. Start with a walk and go from there. You can also try to take them to a dog park so they can run around more freely.

It’s Not Always Time for Fetch

Even though your dog might be carrying around a toy in his mouth, it doesn’t mean that he always wants to play fetch. There are a few different reasons they could be carrying around a toy or why they might bring you one. It could be that they are looking to please you. This is the way that a dog tries to gain your respect when he looks at you as his Alpha.

Keola sitting on the couch with Lincoln
Source: vfxalll.com

Another reason could be that he wants to show you that he trusts you and brings you his prized possession. Your dog can be bringing you a toy just to show you that he loves you and is happy to see you. It shows that your dog likes you and wants to show you his toy. They say that if you throw the ball, it could hurt his feelings. Next time that your dog brings you a toy, you should try to hold onto it and see how he reacts. If it makes him happy, you can tell he doesn’t want to fetch.

Yawning Doesn’t Always Mean Your Dog Is Tired

Humans yawn if they are tired or bored. However, it isn’t the same when it comes to dogs. We always see dogs yawn, and there are a few different reasons for it. One of the reasons could be that they feel safe when they are with you and trust you. Yawning can also be a sign of submission, so when your dog yawns 15 times in a row, then you can tell that they are relaxed.

Keola sitting on the couch with Lincoln
Source: viral-pins.com

However, it can also be a sign of anticipation or stress. Let’s say you’re at the vet’s office waiting to be called. If your dog yawns there a few times, it is their way of dealing with being nervous. Dogs also use yawning to control their enthusiasm before they go on a walk. Like humans, dogs also yawn when they are tired. If you really want to figure out which type of yawn it is, check out the environment.

Looking at You Before You Leave

Usually, owners don’t like to leave their dog home alone and even spend a lot of money, making sure they have a babysitter. Or even spend money on one of those cameras so they can see and talk to their dogs during the day. The main reason behind this is the sad look that they get when we are about to leave the house.

Keola the dog
Source: Pinterest

Well, there isn’t much reason to worry. That look on their faces is more of calmness rather than sadness, which means that they know you are leaving, and they are sad about it, but they trust that you are going to return to them at the end of the day. They feel like they can count on you, and you have gained their trust.

When Your Dog Paces Back and Forth

There are several reasons that your dog would be pacing back and forth. It could be that they are nervous, bored, or excited. Just like humans’ pace around the room, the dogs do too. A sign that your dog wants to play is if they place around you in circles.

dog standing in the grass
Source: vfxalll.com

They want to see whether or not you are opening to playing. When two dogs first meet, it is common for them to start chasing each other and running in circles. This doesn’t mean that something is wrong; this is just how dogs play.

Sniffing the Air

There are plenty of things that dogs will use their nose for. Dogs actually have 220 million olfactory receptors, which is way more than humans. We only have around 5 million. Dogs can smell a thousand times better than a human can. If your dog is sniffing the air around him, it could mean that there is danger coming, or they are tracking prey.

dog lying on the floor
Source: Pinterest

When they are doing this, the dog will remain completely still and absolutely silent. Dogs can smell the difference between different types of animals, including dogs and people. A dog’s sense of smell is so great that they can tell the difference between identical twins.

Flipping Their Tongue Up Is Their Apology

When a dog is aware that they have done something wrong, usually they’ll stick their tongue out and flip it upwards. This is their way of apologizing to us. They understand what they did and feel bad about it.

Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy with his tongue out and a sad puppy face on.
Photo by olgagorovenko / Shutterstock.com

Usually, they will also put an innocent face on because they are fully aware that we can’t help but give in to a cute puppy face. Even if they do something like pee on the floor, they will look up at you with a cute face and flip their tongue up.

Stretching Has a New Meaning

Stretching isn’t only done after waking up to stretch our muscles, unlike people. When a dog stretches, it can mean that they are showing you affection and love. If you come home and your dog stretches excitedly, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they were sleeping. They also want to show you that they’re excited to see you. So, next time that you arrive home from work and he is there stretching, make sure to give them some affection and love back.

A French Bulldog is stretching at the entrance to a house.
Photo by Loida Sanchez Real / Shutterstock.com

Exposing their Belly: When a dog lays back and exposes his belly for you, it is a sign that he is submissive and comfortable, and that he respects you. To encourage them to behave like this, you can rub their belly. This way, they are taught that whenever they lay back like that, stomach out, they will get a nice massage. However, another reason that a dog would lay on it’s back like that is when he is being attacked by another animal. Make sure to check around you before petting him if you aren’t used to him doing it.

Tucking in Their Tails

Here is another sign that your dog is in distress. Sometimes, a dog will tuck his tail in between his legs. They do this for multiple reasons, but usually, it isn’t a good sign. It could be because he is uncertain, nervous, scared, guilty, or ashamed. This is a sign to show your dog some extra love. Try talking to him with a sweet, calm voice and petting him. Giving him a dog treat could also make him feel better.

A dog with his tail between his legs.
Photo by Sarah2 / Shutterstock.com

Why a Dog Raises Its Paws: As most of these signs, there is more than one thing that a dog raising its paws can mean. Either they want something from you, or they are just looking to play. Usually, puppies or a younger dog would do this. A puppy will raise its paws and touch their mother when they want to eat. If they do this to you, it means that they are looking for some love and affection. Just another reason to rub his belly and give him a treat.

Dragging His Bum

I’m sure you’ve seen this before, and you probably thought it was funny. However, this isn’t a good sign. A dog dragging his bum is called scooting. It usually means that you should take your dog straight to the vet because they have an impacted anal sac that they want to release the pressure on. Depending on the breed of your dog, it can happen more often than others. This isn’t comfortable for the dog, and it is recommended that you bring him to the vet so that they can drain it.

A dog is dragging his bum across dirt outside.
Source: Twitter

Laying on Your Feet: I love it when a cute dog lays across my legs. Dogs seem to really love this also when you’re watching TV in the living room or even sitting at dinner. A lot of owners don’t always like this and push the dog off of them, but it actually means something really sweet. This is a sign that your dog wants to protect you and is loyal to you. They are looking to be as close to you as they can get. If you try to get up, they will allow you to have your own space. Dogs actually pass down certain behaviors from their ancestors. Dogs have loved to sleep with their pack of dogs. So, if a dog wants to sleep close to you, they are considering you part of their pack.

Lean on Me

You’ve probably noticed that when you hang around sometimes, your dog will lean up against you. This is a sign that they are hugging you. This is how they connect with you and doesn’t mean that they are lazy in any way. Don’t push your dog away next time they do this, as it can hurt their feelings. You should allow them to express their feelings towards you even reach out a hand to pet him. Keeping reading for more fun meanings!

A German Shepard is leaning on his owners’ leg.
Photo by Lena Ivanova / Shutterstock.com

Tackling You to The Floor: This is just the cutest thing. It might not be the most comfortable, but it is showing you that your dog is crazy about you. It doesn’t mean that they are trying to get your attention or just annoy you. Although, it can end up with you having a few minor scratches. This means that your dog is so happy to see you, and they love you the most. After waiting around the house alone all day, they are just so happy to see you. This is where dogs show some emotions like a human. We also jump up when we’re excited, depending on the situation, of course. But when your dog jumps, it can mean they are jumping for joy, or they can be trying to establish their dominance.

Flicking Their Ears

When a dog flicks their ears, it means that they are trying to listen to their surroundings. Most animals have this same behavioral trait of flicking their ears when they are trying to listen. Whenever there is a noise or a sign that they don’t really recognize, they try to figure out what it is by moving their ears. Just give them a second to figure it out. Not only for the dog’s sake but because it is absolutely one of the cutest things to watch them being observant and inquisitive. Although, I can say that about most of the things that dogs do.

A shaggy dog with his mouth open and ears flicking around.
Photo by Jolanta Beinarovica / Shutterstock.com

Licking Themselves: This one might be a bit more obvious, but there are probably some of you out there who haven’t heard this before. There is also more than one reason behind it. Dogs, like most animals, will lick themselves clean. So, if your dog gets dirty outside, they will probably lick themselves clean. When a dog licks itself, it can also mean that they are in pain. If a dog is licking his legs and paws a lot near their joints, it can also be because of arthritis. If you notice him mostly licking his joints, it is a good idea to take him down to the vet to be sure that he is okay.

Playing Detective

I’m sure you’ve noticed at one point a dog stopping what he’s doing, lifting a leg up in the air, and looking around. This means that they hurt their paw. It is actually something a lot more normal. Dogs will do this when something caught their attention, and they want to play detective to find out what it is. When a dog’s brain is working, they will lift their paws. Sometimes, they also start to sniff a lot. To figure it out, though, just look around you guys. It could be another dog is waiting to play. Next up, we have a dog whose tail straightens out.

A cute black and white dog standing in the snow, alert with his front leg up.
Source: Tumblr

Straightening Their Tail: When a dog wants to show they are excited or confident, they will sometimes stick their tail straight in the air. They sometimes do this when they are meeting another animal. However, if their tail is sticking straight up and it is a little shaky, then it could mean that they are anticipating a challenge. When a dog’s tail is more leveled with their body, it shows that they feel happy, content, and loved. However, if they do this with their tail low or between their legs, it could be a sign of insecurity.

The Cute Side Tongue

One of the cutest things is when a dog hangs their tongue out of the side of their mouth, whether it’s just hanging around or they have their head out of the car window. If your dog has his tongue hanging out of one side of his mouth, it is usually a sign that he is just happy and calm. They also do this when they are done playing or getting back from a walk.

A happy German Shepard with his head hanging out of the car window, and his tongue is hanging out of his mouth.
Photo by Christin Lola / Shutterstock.com

However, if your dog has his tongue hanging out most of the time, then it could mean there is something to worry about. There is a condition called ‘hanging tongue syndrome.’ A lot of breeds with flat noses have it, like a bulldog or a boxer. If you notice that your dog is walking around like this, it could be time for a trip to the vet.

Why Dogs Dig Up the Yard

Dogs are an animal that instinctively digs. It is something that is engrained in their DNA, especially with the terrier breeds. A dog will usually dig to hide something in the yard or to uncover the valuables that they have already buried. You can find bones or toys in there, and sometimes even some of your belongings. Wild dogs sometimes dig holes so that they can uncover their prey under the ground. Just like humans, they will bury their dead. If this is something you don’t want your dog to do, they can be trained to stop.

Dog digging in the sand at the beach.
Photo by Iuliia Khabibullina / Shutterstock.com

Biting: When a dog bites you, it isn’t always the most enjoyable thing. However, it could just mean that they are showing affection, and your puppy just wants to play. Also, when dogs play together, they tend to bite each other a lot. But this doesn’t mean that your dog is aggressive. This is just how dogs play. There are different reasons why a dog would bite a human. One reason is that they are nervous or fearful and will react aggressively. If you are in tune with your dog’s body language, there are ways to prevent the bite from happening.

If They Sleep with You, They Love You

This is another trait that has been passed down through the generations of dogs. Even though you go through the trouble and expense of buying them their own bed, they insist on sleeping with you. When their ancestors would hunt, they would do it in packs. They would also sleep together for warmth and security. He just wants to feel as close to you, protected, and warm as possible. There is nothing more comforting than knowing that your dog loves you by being with you all night long.

A woman is sleeping while she cuddles her puppy under the covers.
Photo by BublikHaus / Shutterstock.com

They just want to hang out with you whenever they have an opportunity. If your dog climbs into bed with you, it is a big compliment. It’s showing you that you are their number one and that they are most comfortable to be vulnerable with you. Also, studies show that your dog sleeping next to you can make you feel more loved and protected.

After Meal Cuddles

Another way that your dog can show you he loves you is by coming to cuddle with you after a meal. Just like me, dogs want to take a good nap after they eat. They also like to be with their favorite person, just like when they sleep. This is a very intense way that dogs express their love for you. If you notice your dog does this a lot, make sure you don’t feed him anything that will make him gassy, as you don’t want that laying up against you.

A man is cuddling his dog on the couch.
Photo by Daxiao Productions / Shutterstock.com

Why Your Dog Pants: When your dog pants, it doesn’t mean that he is out of breath or having a heart attack. This is actually how a dog cools down. When a human tries to cool down, our bodies naturally produce sweat. Since dogs can’t sweat, this is how their bodies cool down. If you notice that your dog is panting a lot, just put some water in a bowl for him, so he doesn’t get dehydrated. There is another reason that your dog can be panting, though. They also do this when they are trying to relieve pain or stress. So just make sure that all of his needs are met, and it is just water he is looking for.

Eye Movements

Dogs show a lot of their emotions through their eyes, similar to the way humans do. When they are tired or sad, they will look down on the ground. If they have their eyes open wide and are looking around excitedly, then they are excited. If they are trying to ask you something, they will look at you and sometimes even raise their eyebrows as if they are curious. Most of the time, you can tell how a dog is feeling based on their eyes more than you could by looking at their tail.

Jack Russell Terrier is looking up as if they are asking a question.
Photo by GLandStudio / Shutterstock.com

Why Your Puppy Bows: There are a few reasons that your puppy would bow. If your dog bows by lowering their head but keeping their body standing up, they usually want to play. Sometimes they will also swing their hips with it or wag their tails excitedly. This is called the Play Bow by dog trainers, and it’s the most common way that a dog will try to show you they want to play. The photograph of a dog bowing is just too cute for words.

Walking in Circles Before Lying Down

You may have noticed that when a dog goes to lay down, they sometimes walk in circles before settling down. This is a trait that dogs take from their ancestors. Wolves have the habit of doing this before they lay down to make the leaves and dirt flat so they can rest comfortably. This doesn’t mean that your dog thinks that your house is dirty or even that there’s something to flatten. It’s just a funny habit that was passed down to them.

A cute fluffy puppy lying down in the grass with a wooden fence behind him.
Photo by otsphoto / Shutterstock.com

The Meaning Behind Howling: There is a reason behind your dog howling, but it isn’t to assert their dominance. It is actually just because this is a dog’s way of yelling. It feels good for them to get it out. The same way that we can release any anger through yelling, dogs are doing the same thing when they howl. A lot of us had tried to quiet our dog when they were howling. But if we were in that situation, we would want to let it out. So, why not let your dog do it too.