NASCAR’s Dale Earnhardt Jr. Goes To The Dogs

Courtesy, Sonoma NASCAR

Superstar NASCAR Cup Series driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. plans to retire at the end of this year.  Sunday will be Dale Earnhardt Jr’s final race at Sonoma, a track in California.  It’s customary for tracks to give a token of appreciation to star drivers who are retiring, and much like the other racetracks he’s visited since announcing his retirement, Jr. was presented with a farewell gift, or should we say, a trio of gifts, ones which will benefit others in the community for years to come.

The President of Sonoma, Steve Page, introduced Jr. to three puppies, ‘Dale’, ‘Amy’ and ‘Junior’. The Lab trio, donated by Tabbitha Whitaker of Micons Labradors and Fieldstone Labradors, will be taught to help children with disabilities, including autism and mobility issues.

The track donated the three puppies to Paws As Loving Support (PALS) Assistance Dogs on Earnhardt’s behalf. Jr. and his wife, Amy, are both passionate animal lovers.  Puppy Dale, formerly known as Casper, will also be part of the PALS juvenile detention program.  Incarcerated youth will be instrumental in providing his basic service dog training.

At the ceremony, the puppies were outfitted in capes embroidered with their names.  Said a visibly touched Jr.,

“It really warms my heart.  We love dogs and making a difference in people’s lives.”

Page told the crowd, “Dale has such a huge following among our fans and we wanted to find a way for his legacy to carry forward.  These three puppies will make a meaningful difference in the lives of young people…”

Pretty cool!  To learn more about PALS and their programs, click here!

If you’d like more stories like these, click here!  And catch an episode of like this one, where shelter dogs are paired with veterans to help them overcome their PTSD.

Lisa Blanck

Writing articles about animals for more than 22 years, she dove into the rescue world with the onset of Hurricane Katrina. As an outspoken advocate for animals, she's covered everything from paws to hooves, fins to feathers. She was the Orlando Animal Rescue and Worldwide Animal Issues Examiner for seven years. She's always thinking pawsitive, looking for ways to improve the lives of animals. She lives with one dog, one cat and one patient human. She welcomes your suggestions and is thrilled to be part of the family!


  1. JERRY EDELMAN says:

    I would have been a bit more impressed had the dogs come from a kill shelter rather than a breeder..But at least the cause is a worthy one. Half a loaf is better than none, I guess.

    1. Nancy Pierson says:

      Hi Jerry. Thank you for your comment! We use our own breeders or accept puppies from reputable breeders for our service dog programs. However, we are expanding our horizons by creating a partnership with a local rescue organization for some of our at-risk youth to help train at-risk dogs so that they will be more adoptable. It will be a win-win 🙂

  2. TERRY FURLONG says:


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