For years I told my husband that we couldn’t get a dog because it was just “too tricky.” I worried about the responsibility, the commitment and how we would fit this dog into the fabric of our lives. I laugh when I think about this now, dog-sleeping-in-lap, because from the moment Einstein came into our lives, all we’ve wanted to do is shape our lives around him because he made us a real family.
Wet first met Einstein, who was formerly known as “Cracker,” at GAIN in January of 2017. We bypassed the puppy row and headed straight for the older dogs. As we walked along each kennel, the dogs curiously approached us, barking hello as we wandered by. We didn’t even notice Einstein because he seemed to be ignoring us. Upon further review, we thought he was sort of funny looking, in an adorable kind of way, and wanted to spend a few minutes with him in the fenced-in play area. Again, he ignored us, walking from spot to spot, marking his territory. Something about him, though, drew us in and that night after a long conversation, we decided we would return the next day and bring him home… and that is what we did and will never look back!
Honestly, I could not imagine my life without our little buddy. He is a great listener with his enormous boonie ears, helpful with the chores by “vacuuming” the floors after dinner, and is always at the ready for a belly rub. He shares my love of carrots, cheese, pumpkin and chicken and enjoys a sunny afternoon at the beach parked below my feet (and using me for my shade, of course).
We are so lucky and so thankful to GAIN for bringing him in to our lives.
- Nancy & Kyle
I always thought when I was finally able to have a dog of my own, I would choose a breed and puppy very carefully to ensure that it would have qualities and traits that I thought would fit my lifestyle. Although I always liked the idea of adopting a rescue puppy, I thought it was important to know as much as I could about my future puppy and where it came from.
When I took my now-husband, Josh, to GAIN, I assured him it was “just to look.” I saw Yigo, formerly Antonio, the minute I pulled into the parking spot at GAIN and recognized him from the website. I pointed him out to Josh but we were really interested in the younger puppies. However, I knew I had to meet him. After seeing a few hyper puppies, who were much more interested in playing with each other than us, I finally asked the staff to see Yigo. The minute I picked him up, he melted against my arms and rested his little head on my shoulder. Although he seemed a little nervous and scared, there was an immediate connection. In that moment, Josh turned the lady behind the counter in the office and asked for an adoption application. Any concerns of where he came from or what kind of dog he was completely disappeared. We didn’t care about hand picking a puppy because he picked us and that was all that mattered.
We brought Yigo home, and he became more than just a pet, he is our first baby. We taught him how to swim, he goes on runs with us, he paddle boards with us, and he even insists on sitting on one of our laps during every car ride. His excitement to see us come through after work has become the moment we look forward to everyday. Yigo is such a big part of our everyday lives that when realized we wouldn’t be able to have him physically present at our wedding, we made sure to find a way to include him. He picked us that day at GAIN and changed our lives forever in the best way. THANK YOU GAIN!
- Lindsey & Josh
When my husband and I first visited Gain, we were only going "to look". That afternoon, as we walked through the dog runs, we both knew that we would be taking a dog home with us in the very near future. We met several friendly and outgoing pups that day, but both agreed that we had not yet met our future dog.
Our next trip to Gain was only three days later. We were excited to see two new litters of puppies had arrived since we had last been there. Yet, the dog that caught our attention was a little golden brown dog, with the longest tail you have ever seen, and sweet, loving eyes.
Her Gain name was Annie and she had arrived with a sister who had recently been adopted. While the other dogs in her run ran, jumped and barked, she just wagged her tail and looked at us with those kind eyes. We took her out to play and she melted into our laps. Within the hour, the paperwork had been signed, she had been bathed and we were on our way home!
Nori, as she became to us, spent the first few days getting used to a home. She was terrified of the television, and didn't like to eat from a bowl. But as the days went on, we all became more attached to each other. Now, a night doesn't go by when she isn't curled up between us in bed. She loves playing on the beach and digging holes larger than she is. While she loves her squeaky toys, often to the point of destruction, her long tail is still her favorite thing to chase.
We knew that we needed to find the right dog for us, even if that meant waiting a little longer. Nori is the perfect dog for our family. She loves to hike and tear around outside, but also is content to lie on the tile floor in a patch of sun. She shows her love by licking anyone who comes close, and we don't need to worry about her around children or other dogs. We will forever be appreciative to Gain for bringing this loveable girl into our family!
- Lily & Brandon
My husband and I adopted Scooby two years ago this July. Growing up, my family always had a dog, so before my trip to Guam, my parents took over to care for my childhood dog since she was 13 years old and because we didn’t think she would do well traveling.
I arrived in Guam a few months after my husband did, and we weren’t planning on adopting any animals while we were here - however that lasted about only two weeks. The house felt super lonely without my childhood dog with me, so my husband and I started talking about adopting one since he was going to be deployed soon and I would be here alone.
I decided to look into the GAIN website and see which dogs were available for adoption, and a little black dog caught our interest. The next day, we visited GAIN and saw the dog we liked, however, there was another dog that caught my eye. This tall, skinny, and brown dog with the biggest ears I had ever seen. He was in the corner of his kennel and the only one who was not barking at me. As I walked up, he strolled over to the door and I gave him a few pets. He kept pawing at me for more.
Later that night, I found him on the website and showed my husband.
When we went back to GAIN the next day, we spent some time with him in the play area. He was super sweet and excited! One of the staff members told us he was a good one. After about 10 minutes, I knew he had to come home with us. He has been ours ever since!
He helped me get through my husband’s first deployment. Also, this year March 2021, I recently had a baby and could not have asked for a better experience with him. When I was pregnant, Scooby would lay his head on my belly and had to be right next to me in bed at night.
The night we brought our son home, my husband let Scooby smell the newborn hat first. Scooby instantly licked it and began wagging his tail. Hes’s been the sweetest boy to our baby and is very protective of him too. We cannot imagine our lives without Scooby. He truly is one of the best dogs we’ve ever had.
I wanted to share my story of Ace and his journey State-side from Guam. I was on Guam for work back in September 2019, on my way from the Air Force Base. Knowing friends have adopted from and support GAIN, I wanted to stop in and make a small monetary donation. By chance, I asked if you had any "small, white fluffy dogs". You brought out Ace. He was very timid and took about 30 minutes for him to even approach me. For me, it was love at first sight!
I asked, "what does it take to bring a dog back to the mainland?" After the process was explained to me, I thought, "there is not enough time". I was leaving the next night and working all day. I went to the airport to ask if I could carry a small dog in the cabin with me. Korean Air and Delta were amazingly accommodating!
GAIN made it happen for me and Ace, and in record time. We had the paperwork we needed. I had the crate, the collar, harness, and leash. He was a trooper, flying over 36 hours to Virginia. When we got home, he fit right in with our other pack members. He's still a bit timid, but with patience and love, we continue to work with him.
Ace just celebrated his 5th birthday, so I thought it was time to write and give you an update. We found out Ace was originally brought to Guam from a family in Northern Virginia. He's made his 360 degree back to where life began for him. He's smart, spunky, and just as cute as can be. He loves his toys, as you can see from the photos. I just wish he knew how to put them back in his toy basket (wink, wink).
My sweet Boudreaux came from GAIN in 2007. Adopting him was the best thing for my family. He’s the reason I started volunteering and eventually became employed at the shelter. He changed the trajectory of my life and is the reason I work with animals. He was an ambassador for his breed and made friends everywhere he went. He was loved dearly, raised kids and foster animals. We moved to California in 2015 and he crossed the rainbow bridge in 2020.
We adopted our first furbaby, a sweet girl we named Sadie from GAIN back in 2016. Her shelter name was Shy. We were informed that she needed to find a foster home that could care for her because she would constantly go kennel crazy. We fell in love with her and decided to adopt her instead. When we moved off island, we took her with us to Tennessee. She has come a long way since. She is now about 12-14 years old, loves doggie ice cream, dog parks, her other dog siblings her mama.
Max, is our second furbaby that we adopted from GAIN in 2017. His shelter name was Fluffy. He was found with other puppies at the beach before he was brought to the shelter. I took him in as a surprise for my husband when he returned from deployment. He is now 5 years old, 70 lbs, loves spikey balls, dog parks, car rides and he loves to play with other dogs.
Lincoln's (Black) story is actually a bit interesting. We were visiting my husband's family in El Paso, Texas en route to coming to Guam in November of 2018. One night, I decided to get on the GAIN website and scroll through with my mother-in-law. As we were scrolling through, I laid my eyes on Lincoln. He looked so sweet and you could tell that he was afraid in his photo, but I knew that he would more than likely have found his forever home before we got to the island. My husband and I actually always talked about having a dog named Lincoln, so it was kind of crazy that I saw a dog with that exact name on the GAIN website. Fast forward to us arriving on the island, we decided to go to GAIN just to look about a week after arriving. We walked into the office and asked someone if Lincoln was still there, to our surprise he was! We were told that his sister was recently adopted so he typically stayed at the back of the kennel because he was afraid. We knew immediately that we wanted to bring him home but the issue was that we didn't have housing yet. I went to visit Lincoln every single day, each day he warmed up to me more and more. He knew that he would see me each morning to go play at the park. You could tell he was growing more and more comfortable with me because eventually he actually let me put him back in the kennel after each play session. Then one day, before we brought him home, I turned the corner and he saw me. He immediately ran to the front of his kennel, jumped up and was wagging his tail in excitement. The day that we moved into our home, so did this sweet boy. We couldn't imagine our lives without this boy. He absolutely loves to play with his friends at the dog park, go on car rides to Island Girl to get a pupachino, and so much more. This boy has gotten me through so much, including 2 deployments. To my surprise, he was also featured in a GAIN commercial!
Mac (Tan), formerly, Antares, was supposed to be just a storm foster in November 2019. I remember asking my husband if we could foster for the storm. After asking countless times, he finally said "Go ahead." I made my way to GAIN and began looking at the dogs, I stumbled upon a 6 month old puppy and he was as cute as can be. I went into the office to make sure that he was still needing a foster and that he was good with other dogs, since we had Lincoln at home. After getting confirmation that he was good to go, I took him home, and as I walked into the house my husband said, "Of course you had to get the cutest one." He did wonderfully and a few days later we decided to take them to the park to play and it was game over. There was no way that we could let him go back to the shelter. We honestly think that they knew when we made the decision to adopt him because instantly they started loving on each other. Of course, we couldn't imagine our lives without Mac either! He is the sweetest boy, who loves to cuddle, and going to Island Girl for pupachinos. I don't think Lincoln and I could get through a deployment without him!
Thank you GAIN for doing what you do, and allowing us to add 2 of the best boonie babies to our family. They are truly the best!