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5 Kid-and-dog duos that prove a childhood pup is priceless

Julie Sprankles is a freelance writer living in the storied city of Charleston, SC. When she isn't slinging sass for SheKnows, she enjoys watching campy SyFy creature features (Pirahnaconda, anyone?), trolling the internet for dance work...

We're not sure whether the kids or the pups are cuter in these photos

Some of the most influential people in our lives aren't actually people at all. Think about Annie and her BFF Sandy! And that's just one classic example of the profundity of having a childhood pup. Here are five more.

Maclain and Tilly

We're not sure whether the kids or the pups are cuter in these photos

Photo credit: Shannon Jones

"We weren't looking for a dog at all," explained 3-year-old Maclain's mother, Shannon Jones. "I happened to be on Facebook, and my older daughter Emerson was looking along with me when the sweetest picture of a Chihuahua came up. She needed a home ASAP — she was a puppy mill rescue and around 10 weeks old. Emerson said, 'Mom we need her!' I contacted them that we were interested in her. Days later I got a message that she already had a home, which reassured me that we didn't need another animal. One week later, I received another message that her home just wasn't working out for her. Then I knew she was meant to be ours. The day we picked her up, a tiny, frail, wounded puppy was handed to me. She weighed one pound! So off we took her to our home.

We're not sure whether the kids or the pups are cuter in these photos

Photo credit: Shannon Jones

If I had to explain Tilly in one word it'd be love. Tilly is one-of-a-kind for sure. She has a white glaze over her eyes from lack of nutrition as a puppy, and she has four extra toes. But she also has a very sweet bond with Maclain. Maclain carries her everywhere like a rag doll. If she's not in my lap, you'll probably find her in Maclain's. They play outside together all the time, and their favorite thing to do is snuggle and fall asleep together. We love her, a lot. I think she was meant to be here with us, too."

Andrew and Bananas

We're not sure whether the kids or the pups are cuter in these photos

Photo credit: Katie McKay Phillips

"'The Banana is the diva we couldn't live without," said Katie McKay Phillips of her family's Bulldog. "She lets my 1-year-old son, Drew Baby, crawl all over her.

We're not sure whether the kids or the pups are cuter in these photos

Photo credit: Katie McKay Phillips

And she saved the life of our other Bulldog, Baney. When we adopted Baney, she was so afraid of everything. Well Bananas, being the anchor she is, immediately took up the role of protecting her. They are as much a part of our family as any human."

Kierstyn and Pluto

We're not sure whether the kids or the pups are cuter in these photos

Photo credit: Carrie McGough

"Here's Pluto keeping watch over Kierstyn at the library. This was a happy day," explained Carrie McGough, whose daughter Kierstyn has Type 1 diabetes. Pluto, a diabetic alert dog, joined their family last year and often "alerts" the family to dangerous changes in Kierstyn's blood sugar.

We're not sure whether the kids or the pups are cuter in these photos

Photo credit: Carrie McGough

And here they are on a sick day. He is such a miracle dog for our family!"

Bladen and Aries

We're not sure whether the kids or the pups are cuter in these photos

Photo credit: Ashley Mitchell

"Bull terriers get a bad rap, but the special bond between our dog and our 3-year-old son Bladen proves how sweet these 'bully breeds' can be!" said Ashley Mitchell of the family's bull terrier, Aries. "Bladen loves Aries — he calls him his best buddy and gets mad when it's time to let them out to go to the bathroom. He can 'torture' Aries, and Aries just lets him. You can tell how much he loves Bladen!"

Quinn and Sarge

We're not sure whether the kids or the pups are cuter in these photos

Photo credit: Alison Geisler

"We got our lab, Sarge, in April of 2007, and he is as much a part of the family as the rest of us. He'll be 8 on Feb. 19 of next year, and he and our toddler Quinn love each other," said Alison Geisler, whose baby girl has already formed a unique bond with the family dog.

We're not sure whether the kids or the pups are cuter in these photos

Photo credit: Alison Geisler

He might get a little annoyed when she pulls his hair and tail, but he never lets on! He loves to sit in her room and under her high chair. He wants to be where she is. He is her protector."

This post was sponsored by Sony Pictures.

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