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Photo courtesy of Simone Biles

Grace and grit are words that epitomize gymnastics star Simone Biles. She has shown those qualities in her breathtaking, medal-worthy performances, as well as in her decision to step aside when it was the right thing to do. We visited with this lifelong dog lover four years ago. (She now has a pair of French Bulldogs.) Here is what she said about how dogs help her cope with the pressures of the sport.

On spoiling them:

“They eat like they’re royal dogs since they’re the babies of our family and deserve to be just as happy as we are!”

On seeing her dogs after traveling:

“After a busy week or trip, I love coming home because my dogs are over-the-top excited to see me! I haven’t been there as much as usual this past year so I always give them as many treats and belly rubs as possible. They love bubbles — that’s their favorite, and that’s my favorite thing to do with them.”

On losing her dog, Maggie:

“Maggie was so special. I got her as a gift when I was younger for making a certain competition in gymnastics. She was my very first dog and I also was allowed to name her. She was the absolute best dog! I was so sad and heartbroken when we had to put her down, but I know she is in a better place and has no pain.”

This article originally appeared in the award-winning AKC Family Dog magazine. Subscribe today!

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