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21 photos that show the true meaning of 'a dog is an athlete's best friend'

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This Stray Dog Is Melting Hearts After Accompanying Marathon Runner In Grueling Gobi Desert Race

There's a reason we call dogs 'man's best friend.'

But for athletes, that's especially true. For National Dog Day, there are many reasons to celebrate the canine's companionship. From a pup's personality, loyalty and company to its unconditional love, there's not much more that beats an owner's relationship with its furry friend.

These 21 athletes really love their dogs. And after seeing these adorable photos, who can blame them?

22 PHOTOS
21 photos of athletes and their dogs
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21 photos of athletes and their dogs
"Can't wait to hang out with everyone tonight at 7 pm ET for the LIVE chat on my Facebook & Twitter. I've teamed up with @AvocadosFromMexico to answer YOUR questions and share my favorite ways to eat Avocados… they're out of this world! http://bit.ly/timavos #AvosInSpace"
"Meet my lil bro!! Ive been so busy teaching him how to act I haven't had a second to post a pic🙈 and even though he can be a pain in my butt I am learning to love him😏💙"
"Post workout afternoon sit with my boy Brody🐶 #relaxing"
"Missed my little furball of energy 🐶"
"my good side #LivinLikeRocco"
"I swear this dog think she own me......actually she does own me jaja"
"What a great birthday with the family!!!! Many blessings to be thankful for!!"
"Cool day with my little man Drew, *of course named after Uncle Drew* lol"
"Welcome to the family Leo #EarlyChristmas"
"Never take yourself too seriously! 😁 #beyourself"
"make sure youu follow my snap to see Nala and the rest of her siblings 😍😍😍 l_bell24"
"#Throwback to playing catch with Astro on game day, because #ItsGoodOutHere! I'm teaming up with @ScottsLawn to give away tickets to ANY @MLB game this season. Just post your best #ItsGoodOutHere moments and tag @ScottsLawn for a chance to win! (Dog not required)"
"@christopherchip filmed by @gfirestone13 face is the permanent face of @damarri_eddie"
"Gonna be too big to hold soon 😔"
"This about sums her up. #Kali #KalPal #SoLazy #mixedlikeherdaddy"
"My assistant coach today😍🐶🎾 #bruno"
"You've made the last 2 years the best 2 years of my life! Happy Birthday Naomi!!! #DogLover"
"#frenchlife"
"They really do know how to make you smile #Man'sBestFriend #Jayce"
"Welcome baby Zo to the crib!"
"Welcome to the fam baby girl"
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