We currently have Sam, a German Shepard Mix, he must be 12 years old now, he was my husband's before we were married.
My MIL has a beagle, Tilly, she was rescued from a puppy mill, and she was a mill. They got her when she was 6 years old, and is probably the only Beagle in the world that absolutely does not bark, she is probably was abused because for the longest time, she was deathly afraid of my BIL, now when he comes to visit, they are the best of friends. The only time she barks is when she has nightmares. Tilly is also my MIL's touchstone through her cancer, and my MIL is Tilly's because they are lost without eachother when my MIL is in the hospital.
Growing up, I had a shepard named Sally, she died when she was 18, she was my protector in ways I can be forever grateful. I also had a poodle-shelty named Pepper, she was my baby, and died when she was 18, 11 years past her life expectancy due to a seizure disorder, instead of dieing, the seizures stopped. Then we had a black lab-cocker mix, Randywho was a big baby, and he died when 9 due to Kushing's disease, that was tragic.
Two weeks after Randy died, my parents got Toby, who was supposed to be a Jack Russell. Surprise! He's a 100 lb Rottie mix. After Pepper died, Toby missed her terribly, and my parents were on a waiting list to get a placid cat friendly greyhound, but my father came across Dutchie at the local animal shelter. She was slated to be put down the next day when he saw her. She was 20 lbs under weight. When she was brought home, Toby said "Thank you, thank you, thank you." As she started to gain weight, her skin stretched, as her skin stretched, the scars appeared. Long story short, she was severely tortured. With time, her physical and emotional scars seemingly disappeared. She and Toby are Ying and Yang. One of the reasons my parents have their kittens, is because Dutchie wanted them. When Buddy and Prince were kittens, ( I told the story in the cat section) Cleo only allow Dutchie to be near them.