December 09, 2012 12:00 PM

She has taken home trophies from both the CMA and ACM, racked up three No. 1 hits and rocked her first headlining tour, but ask Miranda Lambert what really makes her feel blessed, and her answer might surprise you. “The unconditional love you get from a dog is better than anything else,” says Lambert, 29. “I can give the biggest show of my life, and my dogs don’t give a damn. They’re just happy to see their mom. Everyone should have a dog-the love they give back is like nothing else.” Which is why Lambert started the nonprofit MuttNation Foundation ( in 2009. To date, the charity has raised more than $500,000 for dogs and shelters in need. “My parents had a yellow lab named Cooter Brown when I was born, and he lived under my crib,” she says. “He never left my side. He would come to my tea parties, and I would put bonnets on him. He was just awesome, and I’ve loved dogs from day one because of him.” These days she has six-all rescues-which means her and husband Blake Shelton‘s bed can get a little crowded. “The little ones sleep with us, and when they stay with their grandparents, we let the big dogs sleep with us one by one,” says Lambert. “They all want to get under the covers, and Blake’s not too thrilled.”

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