In honour of our loyal canine companions on International Dog Day (August 26th), here are some stories from the 111 countries where CARE works that pay tribute to the dogs in our lives, who often serve as more than just pets and companions – but are symbols of courage, friendship, and unwavering love for people around the world.
Photo: Sarah Easter/CARE
After the deadly earthquake struck on Feb. 6, 2023 in Turkey, Hüsameddin’s family were forced to live together in a tent city in the province of Hatay. In the confusion and struggle of the earthquake’s aftermath, Hüsameddin’s daughter, Melek, found a stray little black puppy in the tent camp.
She called it Kumur, which translates to “black coal,” and it brought a much-needed smile to Melek’s face.
Photo: John Hewat/CARE
In 2020, CARE staff spoke with then-18-year-old Rachel, who lived with her two-year-old daughter Shumi in rural Zimbabwe, which was enduring the worst drought the country had seen in a decade.
Rachel and Shumi’s home was isolated from even their closest family, who they regularly need to call upon for support. Rachel had dropped out of school early to get married, and she quickly became pregnant. Soon afterwards, her husband left to find work in South Africa.
“My typical day starts when I wake up at 6 am,” Rachel said. “I go to my plot of land until 9 am when I cook for my daughter. Shumi copies me and tries to plough the fields with her hoe.”
I love to see her play. Shumi loves to play with her dog. The dog is just called ‘The Dog.’ Shumi loves him.”
In the time since CARE’s visit with Rachel and Shumi, Zimbabwe’s people have continued to experience food insecurity and other issues related to the climate crisis. CARE’s work has focused on climate resiliency and infrastructure, focusing on the disproportionate impact on women and girls like Rachel and Shumi.
Photo: Lucy Beck/CARE
After the war broke out in Ukraine, Yana travelled from Odesa to Romania with her three-year-old dog Askim.
Volunteers in Odesa had helped find Askim a cage to help transport him, and a local resident offered to drive Yana and Askim in her car to Bucharest, so they could get the train onwards to Germany.
“My sister stayed behind, since her husband is in the army, and she doesn’t want to leave him,” Yana said. “I lost my job when the war started, and I need to look after and provide for Askim. He is used to good food, so I have to treat him well.
“It is Askim’s first time to leave Ukraine. There were other dogs at the border crossing in Ukraine and they started fighting him, we managed to separate them and stop the fighting, but he had already dragged me over and through the mud five times. I am covered in dirt and have scrapes on my leg.”
But I would never leave him behind, he is part of me.”
Bonus: Dogs of CARE International UK!
At CARE International UK, we couldn't resist sharing pictures of some of our own dogs reacting to a few of the facts of their human's daily work.
Oslo loves people, and so he’s thrilled when he gets to bring a little joy into their lives. At the end of 2022, the United Nations estimated that 108.4 million people had been forcibly displaced worldwide — 62.5 million of which are internally displaced, and 35.3 million are refugees.
Oslo can’t help all of these humans alone, so he needs your support aiding displaced people and those affected by crises around the world.
Bear is tired of waiting for the equitable phase out of fossil fuels in a gender transformative fashion.
Harley is passionate about equality and proud to be a CARE supporter!
Fergus is perplexed by the fact that, despite women being responsible for 90 percent of preparing and buying food, they are eating last and least around the world.
Makes you wonder about human priorities, doesn’t it, Fergus?
Meet Bonnie! English Bull Terrier and fellow CARE supporter.
Roly loves his food. But he knows that 820 million humans will go to bed hungry tonight, and that devastating drought in East Africa is causing an unprecedented hunger crisis.
As an organisation committed to human welfare, we acknowledge the incredible emotional support that dogs provide, and the happiness they often infuse into our lives. Please join us in celebrating International Dog Day by sharing your own photos and tales that illustrate the special relationship between humans and dogs, using the hashtag #DogsForHumanity.