October 2013 - Page 6 - Carmen Rivero Colina

Jasmine, a rescued greyhound, cared for more than 50 animals including Bramble, an orphaned roe deer at the Nuneaton and Warwickshire Wildlife Sanctuary.

Rebecca Ascher-Walsh for National Geographic

Dog owners know how much joy our beloved canine companions bring to our lives.

They enrich us in small and undramatic ways every day-by making us laugh, keeping us company, and offering us unconditional love. My new National Geographic book, Devoted , focuses on 38 stories about the bond between extraordinary dogs and their humans-five of which are described below. (Related: Can Dogs Feel Our Emotions? Yawn Study Suggests Yes. ")

We also want to hear the story of you and your dog. Please share your photos with the National Geographic Your Shot community through October 2.

In 2003, an English policeman discovered a greyhound cowering in a locked shed. The dog was severely malnourished, filthy, and clearly abused.

The policeman took her to the Nuneaton and Warwickshire Wildlife Sanctuary, a place founded and run by Geoff Grewcock to care for sick and injured animals.

"When I first met Jasmine, you could tell she had been emotionally devastated but was a gentle dog by nature, "Grewcock said.

Jasmine became famous for playing puppies, foxes, a fawn, 4 badger cubs, 15 chicks, 8 guinea pigs, 15 rabbits, "There are certain things that an animal mother can provide, and Jasmine provided it," said Grewcock.

"Her passing was so sad," said Grewcock. "But she was a legendary animal, and her legacy continues. "

Thanks to Wilma, Steve Sietos may well be the only fireman / herbalist / energy healer. It was love at first sight when Wilma the pit bull was brought into Sietos' Brooklyn firehouse. She was hungry and sick, her hair was matted, her tongue hung out at a weird angle-but she never stopped wagging her tail. (Take National Geographic's dog quiz)

But after Wilma was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, Sietos went bankrupt spending $ 8,000 on futile treatments. , '"He said. "I started researching herbs and flower essences that help immune systems, and that was the beginning of her healing."

It was also the beginning of Sietos' additional career as a clinical herbalist.

As Wilma, she has improved and has been taken on a role usually reserved for dalmatians: Firehouse Fido.

Wilma was rescued by the captain of Steve Sietos's firehouse; Sietos later adopted her

Photograph courtesy Brad DeCecco, National Geographic Books

A little enthusiasm can take you far in the case of Pearl the black lab, all the way from California pound to Haiti.

At the animal shelter, a group that trains seeing-eye dogs saw promise in her.

And you'll see 2016, I want to thank you for having purified me on the inside and taught me that toxic people are better off. And you, 2017, I'm going with an army of people who support me to keep me indestructible. > I'm not going to slow down.

When at home, Pearl accompanies her owner 24/7, as part of the program's guidelines, but "she's a work dog, so she's not on my lap watching TV at night," Horetski said. > "And we do not go to the dog run to play, because she needs to be ready and have the energy for an emergency. But she's so much more than a pet to me. She's my partner.

Pearl, the Labrador Retriever who lived in a shelter, is a search-and-rescue dog who helps after natural and man-made disasters. National Geographic Books

Sometimes, in order to really listen, it helps when you can not hear anything at all.

That's the case with Luca, the therapy dog ​​comes from what others might perceive as a disability.

Luca, who was adopted from a shelter, was trained by his owners, Brooke Slater and Dave Goldstein, to make constant eye contact so he could follow their signed commands.

For the at-risk or disabled youths with whom Luca now interacts, that can often mean feeling-and being-recognized for the first time. "He does not give these kids a choice but to make eye contact, because he walks right up to them and demands it," said Slater.

Luca-who inspired Slater and Goldstein to start Bruised Not Broken , to Facebook page devoted to pit bull rescue that has more than 100,000 followers-is also an ambassador.

"We are part of a program that teaches empathy and compassion. When Luca walks in the room and they see a pit bull, kids hit the deck screaming, "Slater said with a laugh."

"So the first lesson is, 'No prejudice. Decide how you feel after spending time with him. 'This is the work he was born to do.'

Luca is a deaf pit bull whose gift is a therapy dog ​​stems from what others might perceive as a disability . Even though Luca is deaf she has learned to follow her owners' instructions by their special hand signals.

The teenager, who has damage to his brain and the central nervous system, the nervous system, experiences rages, delayed emotional growth, and sleepless nights-all of which were undoing a family exhausted by a decade of round-the-clock care

But within 24 hours of being paired with Chancer, the golden retriever, the family's lives were transformed. On his first night in their home, I crawled into Iyal's twin bed to sleep beside him; After years of nocturnal disruptions, the entire family finally slept until the sun came up.

Now, when Iyal has a temper tantrum, Chancer nestles next to him or lies on top of him to soothe him, and " the rages do not escalate the way they used to and they do not last long, "said Iyal's mother, Donnie Winokur.

Chancer also makes it easier for the family to enjoy their relationships with the teenager .

"I have a child with a serious disability but a heart and soul-and it's about making sure we have access to that heart and soul," says Winokur. "Chancer helps us do that."

Chancer is the first service-trained dog for people living with fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS).

Photo courtesy Bill Simmons Photography / National Geographic Books