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By Danika Fears

August 26th marks National Dog Day, an annual holiday founded by pet expert Colleen Paige to publicly recognize the important roles pooches have in our lives — and the many dogs that are still in need of happy homes.

After all, dogs are not just fair weather friends. Over the years, they've risked their lives to save ours and proven to be therapeutic companions capable of sniffing out danger (and pirated DVDs!) with their noses. They're a part of our police forces and, in a few cases, our local (albeit unofficial) governments. Sometimes, they even have a knack for painting — and raising money for charity.  

Let’s face it: Every day should be a celebration of man’s best friend, but to honor them on this special holiday, take a look at dogs and the many amazing jobs they perform to make our lives better.

Dogs are man’s best friend and, sometimes, his most faithful colleague. From dogs who jump out of planes with anti-terrorism forces to rescue pups who travel through snow and water to save lives, take a look at some of the ways our four-legged friends contribute to society while on the job.