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!
We adopted Groot, after he became a foster fail in the spring of 2019. At Gain, he was known as Ryu.
Groot is the best dog! At this point, he has traveled from Guam to Florida and has road tripped all over the East coast. He now resides with us here in Virginia. (And is usually found sleeping peacefully on the sofa) He has jumped into lakes in South Carolina and sprinted through snow in West Virginia. With his brown eye patch and white body, he is definitely is a show stopper. We are constantly asked where we got him.
We loving having Groot be a part of our family! We know first hand that boonies love with their whole heart!
I adopted a dog from GAIN way back in June of 2016. Her shelter name was Lulu, but because I was homesick for New Jersey, I changed her name to Jersey. About a month after that, I nicknamed her “Roo”, because when she barks, it comes out sounding like “aroooo”. Since then, she has been known as Jersey Roo.
I also adopted the dog that was with Jersey Roo named Nala, in whom we renamed, Honey. She, unfortunately, passed away on May 29th, 2019 and I miss her every day.
When I left Guam, I couldn’t bear to leave either of them behind. After a few expenses were made in flight and vet costs, they are now in New Jersey with me.
Since then we’ve driven across the country to and from California, taken infinite trips to the dog park and to get ice cream, and spent 5 of the best years of my life together. I believe everyone gets one dog in their life-time that stands out from all the rest and I was fortunate to get two when I adopted Honey and Roo. They are my soul mutts (even though Honey is gone) and the loves of my life and I can’t thank GAIN enough for everything that each of you (and your volunteers) do on a daily basis.
Attached is my Roo when she was with you guys (left) and when we got ice cream on her 10th birthday this past June (right.)
Thank you again for all that you do!!
I was stationed at Andersen and when I was able to move out of the dorms and into housing, I decided to adopt a cat. I’ve always had cats growing up and knew I needed one in my life.
At first, I visited a pet shop to look around. There was a sweet adult cat there but I wanted to keep looking. I went to GAIN next and Meowface was the only cat that caught my eye and my heart.
I remember the cage said “Shelby”, female, 9 or 10 weeks. She was tiny and her fur was all brown which I thought was so unique. Turns out, she was a black cat but the sun made her fur look brown. I took her out and placed her on my lap as I squatted against the wall with my knees together. I will never forget how Meowface immediately laid down on my lap and leaned against my arm. I had my arms on either side of my legs to create a wall so she wouldn’t fall. She showed so much trust in me in our first moments together. And she was so relaxed.
I put her back in the cage and looked at the rest of the cats, but I came back to her and just knew she was the one. I made my decision within the first 10 minutes I was there and I let one of the staff members know. The next day they took her to get spayed, and that afternoon I took her home. I didn’t have a carrier but the people at Animal Medical Center said she is so tiny and will be so loopy you can just carry her into the car. I remember her first hours in my house, belly shaven and just stitched back up, she ran around the house, jumping up on the furniture like a crazy cat. And I thought “oh my gosh you just had surgery a few hours ago, maybe chill a little bit!” I think she was just so happy to be in her forever home that she couldn’t contain herself.
PCSing to Alabama after that was stressful but I made sure to get everything I needed to bring her with me done.
Since then, we have run into some medical issues but I always took her to the best veterinarian around and she is completely healthy now. When she was about a year and a half, she started limping and it turned out she had femoral necrosis so she had orthopedic surgery and is doing great since. Then that Thanksgiving she got bladder stones but with proper medicine and care she passed them. Then in 2020 she had some teeth resorption which apparently is pretty common with cats so she had all her molars removed. Now she is healthier and happier than ever.
Meowface is my baby and I literally can’t imagine life without her. Since Guam we have moved to Alabama, Japan, and now Maryland. She is the calmest and most confident cat I’ve ever known. She’s 9.5 years old now and we celebrate her birthday ever year! Thank you to the people who keep GAIN running!
Not long after moving to Chuuk, FSM, my family dog passed away back at home. With the sadness of losing her and home-sickness starting to settle in, I started looking at dogs online, “just for fun” (or so I thought).
I guess it was only a matter of time in my search that I fell in love with a crazy mop of fur with big brown eyes named (at that time) Luna. Wondering how I would get her from Guam to Chuuk, I sent an email to the amazing staff at GAIN who said they could help get all her vaccinations in preparation for her journey to Chuuk.
About a month later I found myself on Guam driving to GAIN where I met for the first time, an energetic bolt of lightning. We bonded so quickly that the staff at the hotel I was staying in, couldn’t believe I had only just picked her up.
I noticed she didn’t respond to her shelter name, Luna, so I started saying names out loud and when I said the name ‘Neave’, she looked right at me. It turns out the name Neave was a goddess who was known for traveling far across the water. What a fitting name! Since I got her in 2017, she has traveled quite a bit, too. We went from Chuuk to Boston, then Vermont, and now Virginia.
If it hadn’t been for the dedicated staff at GAIN I never would have found this clownish, happy little dog. Thank you all for your hard work!
This is our girl, Grace! We adopted her from GAIN in July 2019, and she has been my best buddy ever since. I was still new to the island at the time and had recently lost my grandma, so I was struggling mentally. Grace was only 8 weeks old, so she gave something to pour my time and energy into, got me out of the house, made me feel better when I was sad, and even helped me make friends.
She’s been my loyal companion throughout my husband’s deployments and the pandemic. She is great at snuggling, and loves squeaky toys, treats, going to the dog park, and being the center of attention. In two short months she will be moving with us to San Diego and we are so excited to show her a little more of this crazy world! She has changed our lives for the better and we are so glad we found her through GAIN. Boonie is the best breed <3
Maxine (Bethany): “Good things come in pairs.” Is an ancient proverb to convey balance and peace. With this in mind, we were interested in finding a buddy for our fur baby at the time. We considered how we had spoiled our pupper and wondered how she would react to sharing food, toys, and our attention. But a new buddy was needed to keep her company while we were out working 8-10 hours a day. Walking through Gain’s pleasant yard of eager doggos, Maxine caught our attention with her golden coat and contagious smile. She caught our attention immediately. She chose us before we could even have time to decide! With her happy leaps and head tilts, she won our hearts. But can she win our fur baby’s own? We were looking towards slowly introducing our new member of the family to our already established fur-baby. Assuming they each had to create their own boundaries and respective times for cuddles, we prepared with two of everything so as to not entice competition. However, Maxine being a bit older and a medium doggo as opposed to the lil one, immediately knew what to do! It didn’t take long for both of them to get along and be protectors of our home! To serve and protect was her motto from the get-go! Maxine has proven to be respectful, intelligent, and a ray of sun-shine from the get go. She is extremely athletic, yet gentle and soft to the touch. She always finishes her chow and never fails to snarf any treat offered in a flash. Of course offering her contagious smile and a small wink in the end. We appreciate GAIN and all their passionate staff and donors for maintaining a quality establishment. I am absolutely convinced Maxine has an intelligence that can convey her appreciation as well! Thank you, GAIN!
Bambi (Pants): A series of unfortunate events had led us to lose our first fur-member. Although tragic, it is best to cope by coming to peace with that of which we cannot control and to learn to appreciate every moment we have with our loved ones. Not only did we lose a superhero of a pupper, but Maxine had lost her sister. We were in pieces for what felt like forever and needed guidance more than ever. Maxine will never know how much she helped us through that brutal time. In turn, we knew she deserved to have a companion. So with heavy hearts, we once again visited GAIN. We did not wish to feel like we were replacing our fallen pupper, but we (and Maxine) knew that the best thing to do was to provide another forever-home for one in need. When we got to GAIN, Bambi was there to greet us! Walking with her shaven body and her (well loved and adored) tippy-tappi strots, we were enticed. She came from a breeder that placed her and her brother to GAIN because of her deformities. But to us, Bambi was like a sunrise upon the valley of darkness. She displayed a certain naivete that made her irresistible. Such blissful ignorance to our woes and pains provided an indescribable relief. Introducing Maxine to Bambi was incredibly easy. As Maxine has the temperament of a chivalrous lady-knight, we knew Bambi was in good paws to learn the ropes of our hectic schedules and constant need of the nuzzle. Bambi runs around the field and jumps on our couch like nothing can stop her! Her vocals come out quite fearlessly and with confidence too. Needless to say she is much obliged to do so, she’s loved and found her fur-ever home. Again, we would love to express our heartfelt gratitude to GAIN and all its dedicated members and donors.
I volunteered and worked at GAIN for several years which jump started my career and passion for helping animals which I've been doing now for over 16 years.
I adopted 4 dogs from GAIN: Carter, P.D., Eva and Macon and my family in North Carolina and Virginia adopted 4 more: TJ, Quincy, Jilly and Georgia.
Sadly, all but TJ have passed on, but they all lived a wonderful life of adventures and love until the day they died. TJ is still trucking along at about 13 years old and enjoyed playing in the snow this past weekend. We all agree, boonie dogs are the very best dogs! We couldn't have asked for better companions...loyal and loving until the very end!
I’ve always wanted a dog of my own but never felt like it was the right time in my life. While I was in a long distance relationship with my now husband, I found myself constantly looking at GAIN’s website as a sort of coping mechanism for the loneliness I felt. One day I called my cousin to come with me to GAIN to just look at the dogs. When we were walking around I saw the cutest, softest 7 week old puppy named Kamehameha. He was so playful and adorable. The connection was instant and I knew I needed to adopt him so I started the paperwork right away. I remember him being so highly coveted because two other families came looking for him with the hope to adopt. I always think about how if I was hesitant and didn’t decide to adopt him that day, I would’ve never had the opportunity to know him.
Now Kamehameha is our Napu boy and he means everything to us. He completes our little family and we can’t imagine how our lives would be without him. He loves playing fetch, cuddling, massages, riding in the car with the windows down, sun bathing, and hanging out on the beach. He’s the smartest pup and has a whole repertoire of tricks he likes to show off to any willing treat-giver. Growing up on Guam, we always knew we wanted to adopt and we’re so glad we did.
Si yu’os ma’ase GAIN for giving us Napu.
- Renee & Kyle
This month (July) will mark two years since my beloved sunshine crossed the Rainbow Bridge.
When I was in high school I begged my mom for a dog. We went looking at GAIN one afternoon and this sweet, tiny looking, blonde puppy came up to greet me.
Marley was very polite, quiet, and calm as a tiny pup that was brought to GAIN after someone found her alone in the jungle.
She was my shadow from day one, following me outside so that she could go potty and she would walk around the house. For a very young puppy I don't recall her ever really making potty messes or chewing on things. She LOVED her crate as it was her safe space. She had wisdom beyond her years and was friendly to all. Marley became a seasoned traveler after I graduated and we moved off island; experiencing snow for the first time in Colorado (she had so much fun running around in it), hiking in the northwest, and tubing and kayaking in Texas (as long as she wasn't in the water!)
She was the quintessential adventure buddy. Dog parks, hiking trails, brew pubs, hockey games, kayaking, pride parades, she did it all with such an infectious happiness to her. One of her most favorite things to go on were road trips. She'd stick her head out the window and just vibe and take in the elements. She was there for me through everything, every move, graduation, my first apartment, relationships and breakups, and when I got a second dog. From the moment I brought Cash home the two were glued at the hip. When she passed it wasn't just hard on me and Cash but everyone that knew her. Her ability to connect to people from all over was something that was truly special about her and every boonie dog I've met. Thank you GAIN for connecting me to my best friend. She was an amazing companion that rings true to all boonie dogs on Guam