Rivers' soft spot for dogs stems from one of the darker periods in her life when her husband Edgar Rosenberg committed suicide in 1987. The notoriously vibrant, biting, and witty comedian fell into a depression that she felt she couldn't shake off and in a moment of despair, Rivers seriously considered ending her own life.
Her saving grace was her dog, Spike. Rivers described in an interview with The Daily Beast how Spike's love gave her a reason to carry on:
What saved me was my dog jumped into my lap. I thought, "No one will take care of him." It wasn't a friendly dog-only to me. I adored this dog ... I was sitting in this big empty house in Bel Air, with a phone with five extensions which we no longer needed. I had the gun in my lap, and the dog sat on the gun. I lecture on suicide because things turn around. I tell people this is a horrible, awful dark moment, but it will change and you must know it's going to change and you push forward. I look back and think, "Life is great, life goes on. It changes."
Rivers often touted her love for her four-legged friends, telling Chicago Now that "dogs are easier to love than people; they're certainly more dependable ... Once they love you, that's it. A true friend in life is a dog."