An Open Letter To My Dog

An Open Letter To My Dog

When I needed a hand, I found your paw.
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To My Furry Friend,

I sometimes wonder what goes on in your mind. "Do you know how much I love you?" "Do you know I miss you when I leave?" "Are you happy?" are just a few of the thoughts that I have when I look at you. I wonder how you wake up every single day with a big smile and wagging tail as if today holds a big surprise. Your positivity is contagious and makes me realize life isn't as bad as I sometimes think it is.

I truly believe you came into my life at a time when I needed you most. I've always had a hard time opening up but you manage to keep my deepest secrets and comfort me when no one else can. You deal with my high pitched voice that I make when I see you, and while I am sure you find it annoying, you still come to me. You hate coming into my room (unless I have food), but sometimes I catch you late at night crawling in and sleeping next to my bed. I'm sure you don't think about it, but that small action on your part melts my heart.

You have the cutest little face, and while other people may not agree, it doesn't matter to me. Each one of your quirks brings a smile to my face. Whether it be the fact that you come running when you hear a bag of chips open, how you snore very loudly in your sleep, the fact that you hate road trips with a passion, your love for going on walks no matter what the weather is, and how anti-social you are with other dogs, I notice these things and they make me happy.

I hope you know that you mean the world to me and will always hold a special place in my heart. People say you're "just a dog" but to me you are so much more. You're my best friend. You have watched me grow up and despite the awkward phases and the moving away to college, you've never left my side. I dread the day you will leave me and it will break my heart when that day comes, but I know you will always be in my heart. Thank you for all that you do, whether it be making me laugh, getting me to exercise, or comforting me when I am down.

I love you forever my furry little friend. Thank you for bringing my life so much joy.

With Love,

Your Human

Cover Image Credit: Alexa Warford

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5 Ways Impulsively Getting A Dog Saved My Mental Health

Those four paws are good for a lot more than just face kisses.

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Shortly before my husband and I officially moved out onto our own, he surprised me with a puppy in hand on the morning of our anniversary. Moving out, tackling college, and everything in between, I thought another huge responsibility was the last thing I needed. However, in reality, Oakley, the lab/Australian shepard/collie mix, was exactly what I needed to get back to "me."


He provides emotional support

One of the most obvious reasons is how much emotional support dogs, (and other respective animals) can provide. His paws have been accidentally stepped on, and he certainly isn't a fan of the forced flea/tick medication doses, but less than 30 seconds later, he is without fail immediately by my side again, tail wagging and ready for more kisses. Although he is not trained or certified as an ESA, it's without a doubt he has effectively (and unconsciously) combated random anxiety attacks or feelings of being alone.

He requires being cared for

You'll heavily judge every crazy fur mama, as did, I until you become one. Getting Oakley immediately got me consistently back on my feet and forced me to ask myself, "What does he need today?"Even simple, easy tasks like taking him out to run/go to the bathroom had me excited and forced me to find a motive in the day to day activities. I loved no longer having even the mere choice to be unproductive. Don't want to start your day? Well, Oakley needs his day started, so let's get moving.

He serves as protection

It's no surprise how far a dog's loyalty will go to protect their owner. For decades, specially trained dogs have had life-saving responsibilities assigned to them. Even being married, my husband and I's schedules vary significantly to where it is not uncommon for me to be alone. The slightest sound or shadow from outside our door immediately initiates barking. In the bathroom taking a shower? He's there. Knowing that Oakley is looking out, even when I get carried away with tasks like cooking dinner, always calms my nerves.

He's become something to look forward to

The nice thing about having Oakley is regardless of how my day goes, I know exactly how it is going to end. Whether I passed an exam with flying colors or got the lowest grade in the class, I know what waits for me when I open the door at home. After a long day, nothing resets my mood like walking into a face that is just as happy and excited to see me!

He encourages bonds with others

If you want your social interaction to sky rocket: get a puppy. No, I'm serious. You'll have people wanting to come over and visit "you" (let's be real… your puppy), like it's your last day on Earth. For me, this was exactly what I needed. Getting Oakley had family members constantly checking in to see how he was growing, learning, etc. Not only did this encourage more interactions with family and friends, but it also "livened" my husband and I's home life. Instead of the "normal" weekend nights consisting of Netflix and MarioKart, (which are enjoyable in their own respective ways), spending our nights playing Monkey in the Middle with our new four-legged friend has proven much more entertaining.

So ideally was it the right time to get a dog? Probably not. However, adding Oakley to my small little family combated anxiety and depression in ways I wouldn't have ever thought possible.

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The Top Questions To Ask If You're Looking To Adopt A Husky

As cute and furry as they are, these are some MUST knows

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Currently, I work at an animal shelter here in San Diego that has shown me so much about animals and the humane community as a whole. Something that has really opened my eyes is having to see almost the same breeds coming into our care more than other breeds. Huskies are one of them. As a husky owner myself, I know the struggle. It is a lot of work and time that you have to commit for a husky (as well as any other breed honestly).. it's just a few extra things you have to be on top of for how high maintenance they can be. Many guests come into the shelter wanting to get a husky as a first pet. With that said, I always ask the following questions:

1. Is your housing big or small, inside/outside or both?

2. With that said, will you be ready for the shedding and needing to taking them on multiple walks/bathroom breaks depending on the answers you just gave me?

3. Do you know about their high energy level of activity and what all the teething and puppy phase tasks you will need to take care of once you do take this animal into your life?


Here are simple things to always be aware of before taking a Husky home:

1. Don't let the puppy phase fool you!

Husky Puppies

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Do. Not. Let. These. Faces. Fool. You.

Yes, I know. They are ADORABLE when they are puppies. However, this does not last long enough for you to want them due to the cute baby faces and small size. Huskies grow long and big, and quick. You can notice in their paws at most times. Huskies can be anywhere on average from at least 60lbs+. Teething usually happens from four months to at least (hopefully) seven months, meaning have those chew toys ready when they are destroying anything and everything that can get their mouths on. Lastly, for a general note. PLEASE vaccine your puppies when it is time to do so!

2. The. Shedding. Never. Ends. 

You can never get away from this. :)

One of the main things I always start off with when I hear someone is interested in adopting a Husky, is asking them if they are aware of the amount of hair they shed... daily... hourly... and constantly... and the response I always get is "No." Huskies shed very much and its almost never-ending when you try brushing as much hair as you can every day. The best ways to brush their hair off as best as possible deals with the rubber hair brushes for dogs. They can grasp as much loose hair as possible. If you bathe the dog and then brush, horse brushes will do the job if their fur is damp. All this shedding means you must clean the house daily. Even in the backyard, clouds of fur will be separated all over or floating in the wind (I kid you not)

3. Lots of Exercise 

Huskies are the best buddy to take with you to get into shape.

Huskies have really good levels of stamina and are very high-energy, always have been and always will be. It is almost required to be ready to walk your husky every day (especially in its young years) to wear off most of their energy. The more exercise they get, the easier they are to take care of. For example, keeping them cooped up and neglecting their high energy can lead to them chewing almost anything or just being completely bonkers in efforts to find entertainment. So to save you... walk your husky! Daily! As much as possible is best recommended.

5. They really are worth it in the end (:

Me & my girly Luna

Two years ago, I was blessed with the opportunity of having a husky of my own. As I tell others... I didn't necessarily choose the husky life, the husky life chose me. She was brought into my hands and I've never regretted taking ownership of her since then. Having her since she was a puppy definitely showed and taught me all the things I needed to know about having a puppy in general, and the pros and cons of owning a husky. She is the light of my life, and the largest dog I've ever had so far... however she's opened my eyes to how great having a small/large dog can be. It is a lot of work, but it really is worth it in the end ! So if you ever get the opportunity to take in a husky... try it out! But be prepared before you really do it!


Xoxo,

Princess J

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