I cannot think of someone more deserving of a whole birthday month. We celebrate you for 31 days which does not even come close to the 334 days you spend celebrating us. Even during your birthday month, you spend time giving to not just me but this family. I just want to start by thanking you for all you do for me and this family.

Even though you live 130 miles away I always feel like you are right here with me. I always can count on you to answer the phone when I call, and I really do not know what I would do without constantly calling you. Thank you for always listening to me and for always being there for me no matter the distance.

No matter how old I grow I will always love cuddling up to you in bed and just talking about anything that comes to my mind. You are always there for me especially when I feel so alone. When dad could not be home with us you were the one that was always there. Thank you for always comforting me and always letting me know that everything is going to be ok.

Even on my worst days, you know how to put a smile on my face. When I feel like crying you always know how to make me laugh. Thank you for all the joy and happiness that you have filled my life with.

If it were not for you I would not even be here today. You gave me life and that is something that I could never fully give back to you. I could not think of a better person to call mom. Thank you not just for giving me life, but for giving me the best life anyone could ever ask for.

The world truly is a better place with you here in it. The amount of joy you have brought into my life, as well as so many other lives, is indescribable. Thank you for being a light in this world and most importantly thank you for being the best example a daughter could have.

Even though your birthday month is coming to a close you are still celebrated and loved all year long. I know that I may not always be the best at constantly reminding you just how much you mean to me. However, not one day goes by without me being thankful for the mother I have.

I know that there are no gifts or words that could ever amount to what you have given me. I hope this birthday month was one to remember. Happy Birthday to the best mom a girl could ask for.

Love Always,


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What Rescuing a Dog Taught Me About My Future

She was a real pain to begin with, but I wouldn't give her up for the world now.


My first dog came from a breeder to us when he was just a puppy. I was in third grade so we were both young together. I remember stepping off of the bus and seeing him curled up in my mom's arms. His breed, a Cavalier King Charles, is a highly sought after dog for their small size and beautiful markings. However, dog breeding can lead to medical complications down the line. Heart murmurs are very frequent as cavaliers get older. When he turned 9 years old, they were already detecting the beginning of a heart murmur in him. But my second dog didn't come to us in quite the same way.

Willow was about a year old. She was rescued from an abusive home where she had to fight for her food from many other dogs. This made her guard resources and distrustful of us. My mom and I begged the rest of our family for the ability to adopt her, and they finally agreed. Being not potty trained, we had to teach her with a lot of positive encouragement when she went pee in the right place (not our carpet). It took her a while to realize that we weren't going to take her food away and she gradually became less resource guarding. She started to trust my other dog more and play with him. A lot of the time, they even snuggle together now.

At the time, I was in my junior year of high school and still thinking about the idea of becoming a veterinarian. She helped me decide to go for it, and now I'm in college and getting ready to apply for veterinary school. Willow has become part of our family, and her funny and unique personality fit right in with us.

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