Not that we need any reasons to love our dogs, but we have so many dogs out there who are going to be awesome companions, therapists, exercise coaches, and more if anyone gives them a chance.

When we went to NEW PAWSibilities to find a dog we looked at bigger dogs and friskier dogs and dogs who seemed to want to come with us.

Coconut was twenty-two pounds and our vet says thirty-two is the lightest he should ever weigh and that thirty-seven is the most. You can imagine how scrawny he was when we came in and I am not exaggerating when I say I could count every rib.

He did not come bounding in the room offering licks and hugs. He was actually boring. He didn’t seem shy as much as willing to wait. He ignored Gary and he seemed to know in advance that he was my dog. He was going to be my reason for living.

So this little guy of an indeterminate breed came in and sat directly in front of me and he stared into my eyes as if daring me to send him away as others had done. Or so I thought.

I got the staring part right but not the fact that others had met and left him for another dog. In the three weeks that he’d been there only one person seemed to take an interest and that was Dave. Dave volunteers doing any and everything we need at the shelter. He knew Coconut, then named Niki, was amazing. He even took him home one night. He decided he’d have more time to volunteer if he didn’t have a dog so he brought him back. As it turns out he sees him quite a bit when we take Coconut to daycare.

But no one else called or stopped by. Coconut was one of those dogs that didn’t have a fancy breed or a coat of many colors. He wasn’t a puppy. Because he was so thin he didn’t look as beautiful as he does today.

I look back at kids in my elementary school and I wonder what became of those who never spoke up in class, those who say by themselves at recess, who were not class clowns like me. I hope someone saw their worth and befriended them, married them, made them parents, helped them to find lives of value.

That’s what we do at NEW PAWSibilities. We take dogs like Coconut, dogs who don’t present as truly special, and we rescue them and find the places where they can shine. Places where they can have lives of value.

In return, they became all of these things and more.

Every dog deserves to live a life of value. And every dog can bring so much into your home than you ever thought possible. Even the underweight and quiet and not flashy dogs deserve a chance.

We have many dogs who get overlooked. We are grateful for every adoption. But when you are looking for a dog please take a look at dogs like Coconut because they are often the best and most grateful and most amazing dogs or all. I know Coconut is.