Let's Celebrate National Dog Week!

It's National Dog Week! What a perfect time to talk about dogs and how so many of them love to have a purpose. When they can’t do their jobs they get antsy, and their humans need to find them something new to do, a new way to contribute.

Below is a preview of one of my favorite stories from our book, Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Magic of Dogs, about a dog who was so committed to doing good that his human had to make sure she could keep going to work every day!

In Tracy Beckerman's story "On the Job" Tracy has to find something for her dog Monty to do during the pandemic. Monty, despite some early bad behavior during his puppy and teenage years, had become a therapy dog after Tracy had gone through the very difficult process of training him, which meant acting like the alpha dog and meaning it. But it worked and Monty loved being a therapy dog. His favorite thing in the world was to have his belly scratched, and there were many people willing to do that for him all day. Tracy says, “We visited children battling cancer, seniors with dementia, and even worked the airports when flights were delayed or canceled, and passengers needed a way to blow off some steam. On the job, he was the center of attention.”

Monty loved going to work. But then the COVID-19 pandemic struck, and Monty the Therapy Dog had nowhere to go. No job, no morning walks with his dog friends, no chasing a ball in the local dog park. Tracy says, “Soon, I got the feeling that he was more depressed about the isolation than my husband and I were, and I realized I needed to do something to stimulate him or risk the chance that he would start snacking on our underwear again.”

Tracy asked her husband if he would pretend to need therapy. He reluctantly agreed and Tracy put her plan into action. She put Monty in his official vest and bandanna and clipped his badge to his collar. Then she put on her official sweatshirt and badge and slung her therapy backpack, which held the dog’s certification papers and some dog biscuits, over her shoulder. Monty perked up and struck his therapy-dog stance.

She took him outside, closed the door, and knocked on it. The dog sat next to her and waited patiently.

“Hello,” she shouted as she opened the door and stepped in. “We’re here for your therapy visit.”

“Up here,” yelled her husband from the top of the stairs.

Tracy said, “Monty, therapy,” and they walked up the stairs. Tracy’s husband lay on the floor pretending to be in pain. Monty lay down next to him and rested his chin on her husband’s leg.

“Good job, Monty!” she said. “And good job to you, too, honey. You really look like you’re in pain!”

“I really am in pain,” her husband said as he massaged his leg. “I tripped over the dog’s toy and slammed my shin into the coffee table.”

“Well, you did it for a good cause,” Tracy replied. “See how happy he is.”


Chicken Soup for the Soul has been “changing lives one story at a time”® since 1993 with more than 250 books that provide hope, inspiration, and tips for a better life. Virtually every title becomes a self-help bestseller. Each book contains 101 true, personal stories submitted by ordinary people with extraordinary experiences to share. The topics are wide-ranging, but always inspirational and entertaining, covering everything from faith and spirituality to family, marriage, pets, and overcoming challenges of all kinds. Life values such as gratitude, forgiveness, mindfulness, positive thinking, and giving back are a big part of the series, with specific self-help books that help readers of all ages, from children to the elderly.