4 Stages Of Being A Dog Mom

4 Stages Of Being A Dog Mom

#DogMomsMatter

A little humor on the subject, because being a Dog Mom is a journey unlike any other.

Stage 1: Love At First Sight

There you are, casually walking through the pet section “just for fun,” naturally filled with guilt for all of these puppies who are in need of a fur-ever home. All of a sudden you lock eyes with the one, and there’s no turning back now.

In a matter of minutes you have already decided on the perfect name, picked out what will become his new favorite toys and called your mom to inform her that there’s nothing she can say to stop you from bringing this little ball of fur home with you.

He performs his bodily functions all over the house? No problem, you don’t mind cleaning up after him.

He nibbles at your ankles and fingers? That’s okay, because he’s just so cute.

You are completely, and utterly head over heels for your new bundle of joy, and there’s nothing he could do to change how you feel.

Stage 2: Plausible Deniability

It’s been a few weeks now, and you’re starting to (silently) wish you had listened to your mom when she begged you to reconsider adopting this puppy.

Remember when it was okay that he was biting you, and shitting all over the house? Well, it’s not cute anymore and you’ve just about had it with his disrespect. After all, you rescued him and this is how he repays you?

You’re convinced that he will never learn, and that the rest of your lives together will be a constant battle.

Stage 3: The Breakthrough

A month or so has passed, and you feel as though you can finally breathe again.

He has begun letting you know when he has to go to the bathroom, he has channeled his constant need for biting into rawhides and chew toys rather than your ankles and he has learned some basic commands.

You have stopped condemning yourself for being the worst dog mom in the world, and have finally accepted that raising a puppy was just harder than you expected it to be.

Stage 4: The Ultimate Takeover

You’ve been a dog mom for about a year, and by now you have learned that you are not the one in control anymore.

You find yourself wondering when your dog decided he was allowed to sleep in your bed, or nap on the couch whenever he feels like it.

He has become the King of the house, and despite your efforts to set him in place, you have ultimately surrendered your authority. His happiness means more than anything, and spoiling him has become your priority.

A mom is responsible for raising and maintaining a life, ensuring both health and happiness.

If allowing my dog to sleep in bed with me, and feeding him his favorite human food (Kraft Singles, like most other dogs I presume) every once in a while makes me a bad dog mom; then so be it.

If he is happy, then so am I.

Cover Image Credit: Katherine Murray Photography

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America-The Land of the Incarcerated?

Reaction to 13th, a Netflix documentary, that explores the United States' claim to freedom, liberty and justice for all.

America, the land of the free, or so we may think. The Thirteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution deems everyone equal, abolishes slavery, and states that every American has the right to vote and live with liberty and justice. The United States is home to 5% of the world’s population, but 25% of the world’s prisoners. This shocking statistic has driven the researchers, reformers, and experts of the documentary, 13th, to uncover the loopholes of the Thirteenth Amendment. We are not living with freedom in the United States, in fact we are being locked in cages to waste away.

Imagine being confined to your home with your family for an entire weekend without leaving. Some of us may cringe at the thought of being “locked away” with the same people for days, despite how much we love them. Some may say "they would go crazy”. Unfortunately, the United States correctional program causes severe mental health defects due to being locked away behind bars. It does the opposite of rehabilitate our fellow Americans. The increase of incarceration began soon after slavery was abolished. The Thirteenth Amendment states that everyone has equal rights; criminals as an exception. Slavery has evolved from the purchasing and selling of a human being, to convict leasing (the use of convicted felons for free work), to the war on drugs which lead to mass incarceration. Once a convicted felon, the right to vote is no longer allowed. Employment is extremely hard to come by since most jobs ask “have you ever been convicted of a crime,” or require a background check. Food stamps are denied for the hungry if they are an offender. The United States shuns people we have convicted to “rehabilitate”, and leaves them high and dry to suffer. Our criminals do not have equal rights and are denied any access to help they need to integrate back into society successfully. 

The most shocking display the documentary describes is the support of our political leaders for the post-slavery movements. We saw it most recently with the presidential campaign of President Trump, where he made racial slurs and comments about the Mexican population and immigrants of our country. He fails to forget our ancestors were all immigrants and came here illegally and unwanted. Bill Clinton created the 1994 crime bill which Hillary did support at the time, to incarcerate more people, later admitting it was wrongfully decided. Corporations such as the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) support strict crime laws and can influence politicians to propose these bills. Circumstances like these have caused the incarceration rates of 1972 at 300,000 to increase to over 2.3 million today. The overpopulation of our prisons and lack of rehabilitation has caused our economy to suffer, as well as the quality of life the American people live, felon or not. Figuring out how to remedy the mass incarceration epidemic is difficult. Community Corrections, or monitoring offenders with a GPS or bracelet is a popular idea, but would still allow private companies to profit off of the number of wearers. Educating our community on the wrongful mass incarceration and shocking them into seeing how bias our country still is can be a start to a prison reform. Police brutality has been seen in many modern court cases, with people of color being tortured and/or killed for no reason but bias. Project Implicit by Harvard University offers an examination of unconscious biases one may have on race, gender, and many other categories. If police begin to take these tests in the training academy, superiors can recognize and evaluate if these biases will stand in the way of equal treatment law enforcement. 

Figuring out how to remedy the mass incarceration epidemic is difficult. Community Corrections, monitoring offenders with a GPS or bracelet, is a popular idea but would continue to allow private companies to profit off of the number of users. Educating our community on the wrongful mass incarceration and shocking them into seeing how bias our country still is can be a start to a prison reform. Police brutality has been seen in court cases throughout history, with people of color being tortured and/or killed for no reason but bias. Project Implicit by Harvard University offers an examination of unconscious biases one may have on race, gender, and many other categories. If police begin to take these tests in the training academy, superiors can recognize and evaluate if these biases will stand in the way of equal treatment law enforcement. 13th offers an enlightening view on the biases our country still experiences today and can give millennials a different perspective on the law. We are the future of the United States and should stand up for equality and justice for all Americans. 

Thank you for reading! Please watch 13th on Netflix, and take an Implicit Bias Examination through Harvard University at https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/takeatest.html 

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10 Things I Say To My Pets On The Daily

I mean, maybe someday they'll say something back?

I’m one of those people who constantly talks to her pets... probably a little too much if I’m being honest. I find myself using some phrases which have somewhat turned into a signature for each one of them, and other phrases which can be thrown about to any animal in different situations. Here are my top ten phrases, I tend to use on the daily.

1. Hello beautiful! Or Hello Handsome!

I say this when I see my pets first thing in the morning. They deserve a nice wake up too!

2. Thank you for the kisses!

I kissed a dog and I liked it!

3. Give me a kiss! Kiss!

Sometimes, a little puppy love is all you need to make it through the day!

4. Who’s the prettiest little puppy in all the land?!

I continue the phrase with “Kodie is!,” but obviously I'm biased.

5. Baby Beluga!

One of the many nicknames I have for my male Rottie, who is a friggin whale by the way.

6. You’re so fast!

The sound of paws thudding down a hallway. I truly believe this is what a stampede sounds like...on a much smaller scale that is.

7. You’re a panther! You’re a Tiger! Did they give me the wrong animal at the shelter?

Cats are weird, man. Sometimes they walk on hind legs. Sometimes they pounce on you out of nowhere. And sometimes, they walk like they’re the king of the safari.

8. What are you doing? Must you? Really? Are you serious right now?

Did your cat just kick kitty litter all over the floor? Did your dog just jump on you, both paws landing smack on your chest? Did your hand become a chew toy?

9. Stinky!

They need a bath or their poo smells to high heaven.

10. I love you!

No matter if they smell all clean or like they just crawled out from a sewer after a day of play in the mud, I love them just the same, and they deserve to be told that every day of their lives multiple times a day!

Cover Image Credit: Shannon Kerns

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