If You Look Forward To Seeing Your Dog Most After School, You Know What I'm Talking About

9 Things You Know To Be True If Your Dog Is The Best Thing To Come Home To For Break

Sorry Mom and Dad and other human friends.

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It's no secret that dogs are one of the greatest gifts to humankind. They're our best friends who love us unconditionally. When we go away to school, sometimes dogs are our hardest goodbyes. To make things worse, we can't talk to our pups on the phone like we can with our human friends and family. That's what makes it so much more special when we can finally come home and see our loyal fluffy friends in real life. Sometimes, there's nothing better.

1. There is nothing quite like seeing your dog's face light up when you first walk in the door.

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The joy on your dog's face as he or she runs to greet you when you walk in the door is like nothing else. They are just so so so excited to see you, and it truly makes you feel so special and loved.

2. You don't even mind them slobbering all over you

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My dog specifically is a big fan of giving kisses. As soon as I get home, he will not stop licking me because he just wants to show me how excited he is to see me. After a while, it will get annoying, but at first, it's just a reminder that he loves me.

3. The nice coat of dog hair all over you doesn't bother you either

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I have a golden retriever, and he SHEDS. I can usually never wear clothing or any fleece material because sooner or later, I'll be wearing a nice coat of fur. But when I first get home, that layer of blonde dog hair covering my clothes doesn't bother me one bit. I mean, lint rollers exist for a reason, right?

4. Taking them for walks doesn't seem like a chore anymore

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I'll admit, I'm not a fan of taking my dog for a walk too often. But when I get home, it doesn't seem like a job. Instead, it's quality time that I get to spend with my favorite pupper.

5. You don't mind them constantly bothering you to pet them and show them attention

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Sometimes, my dog will not ever leave me alone. He'll paw at me while I'm trying to eat or watch TV or lick me when I'm trying to get work done. Occasionally, it annoys me when I'm trying to concentrate or get something done, but when I come home from school, I cannot get enough attention from my dog. Maybe I'm just as needy as he is.

6. Snuggling with them while they take up 3/4 of the bed is the best thing ever

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Dogs are the biggest bed hogs, but that's why we love them. It's common knowledge that as humans, we come second to our fluffy best friends, so we must not disturb them when they take up almost the entire bed. But that's okay; we just get closer snuggles.

7. They become your favorite passenger when driving around

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I know this usually doesn't apply to all dogs, but I know that mine absolutely loves traveling in the car. And I love to travel with him; he makes for a great driving companion. When I'm home, I find any excuse to take my dog with me when I drive places.

8. You're more likely to sneak them some people food more often

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Guilty! I'm not going to lie, I always sneak my dog some food or give him my leftovers after dinner. Dogs do a lot for us, so they deserve some extra treats.

9. You can't ever stop telling them how cute they are because they truly are the best friend you could ever have. 

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Dogs are truly a blessing, and I swear they get cuter each time you see them. If only pups could read so they could know how much we appreciate them.

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12 Things You Need To Know Before Getting A Corgi

They are NOT fat dogs.
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When I was 12 years old, my dream of owning a dog finally came true. After begging my parents for two years, we finally started the hunt for the dog I wanted so desperately- a Pembroke Welsh Corgi.

After searching half a dozen places across two weekends, we finally found what would become my corgi, Ozzie, a big-eared puppy smiling and nipping at my hands from a baby crib. Keep in mind that this was before the world became obsessed with corgis, so finding one was a pleasant surprise.

Since getting my dear pup, many people have asked what it's like to own a dog from this adorable breed. Here are some important things to remember when dealing with a corgi.

1. Never stop scratching/petting them.

As I type this, I have one hand on my computer keyboard and one hand on my dog. There is nothing corgis love more than being pet, and I can assure you you'll get tired of it before they do. They'll turn to mush when you start scratching them, but if you stop, they'll either take it as a sign you're done and walk away, or they will nudge your hand for more. Seriously, I always have to explain to friends when they come over that when he sticks his nose under their hand/arm and nudges it to try to pick it up, he's trying to get them to scratch him more. If you could, you'd be scratching him all day, and he would never move.

2. They're very smart dogs.

While, like all other dogs, they will take some time to train, it's a relatively painless process. Yes, there were some accidents, but he did pick up on where he was supposed to do his business pretty quickly. He has also learned tricks like shake, sit, high-five, and spin, each of which took only a few hours of teaching and some treats (or lots of them). He knows when he's done something bad, knows what words like "out' and "walk" mean, and if you tell him to go see one of our family members (such as saying "go see Laura"), he will walk into our rooms and sit next to our beds.

3. They can be VERY food-motivated.

If there is one thing they may love more than being scratched, it is any kind of treat/food. When my dog even thinks you have a treat in your hand, he'll sit and stare expectantly until you actually bring your hand down to him, where he'll stiff wildly for a few seconds before realizing there's nothing there. His ears perk up whenever you say "treat," and he actually licks his lips when you ask him if he wants "nummies," a word we use instead of food, which was a tip we learned when we first got him, so that he wouldn't go wild whenever we use the word "food." While he's not the type to beg at the table, he will sit under the table quietly waiting for food that may fall on the floor.

4. He is NOT a lapdog.

When I got my dog, I wanted him to be my little lapdog. I always wanted to hold him, and unlike many dog owners, I wanted him to sleep in my bed. Shortly after getting him, I realized that this would be my only wish that would not come true. My dog hates being held, and if you pick him up he'll squirm until he's out of your grasp or you just give up and put him down. He also doesn't sleep in my bed-or anyone's bed- ever. Since he's a herding dog, he likes to sleep where he can "stay on guard" and watch over us. He'll sleep out in the hallway, on the couch or next to our beds depending on what mood he's in.

5. He doesn't like heights.

You can't blame him with those short little legs. He doesn't like stairs or being on elevated surfaces (such as beds). The highest he goes is onto the couch, and he won't go down or up the stairs if there are more than four or five steps.

6. They shed. A LOT.

If you are a clean-freak or hate dogs that shed, then you should probably shy away from getting a corgi. Since this breed has a double-layered coat, they have to shed off some of that heavy coat in the summer and grow it back in the winter. When we got our dog, we were told he only sheds twice a year, but no matter what time of the year it is, you will always have hair on your clothes. Don't even bother trying to pet them when you're wearing all black, because you'll end up wearing all of the fur they shed off.

7. They thrive in cooler weather.

I'm not saying that you can't own a corgi unless you live in England (the breed is from Wales), but if you live in an area with hot summers, make sure you have a cool place for them in your home, and don't leave them out for a while because they do get really hot with that double coat. I've noticed that on cooler, rainier days my dog will want to stay outside for hours, but if it's a hot summer day he will run outside, do his business, and run right back in.

8. They have the cutest butts.

Not to sound weird, but have you ever seen a corgi in full excitement mode? Not only does their little stump of a tail wag, but their whole butt shakes. No tail + short legs + big ears = the perfect cuteness cocktail (no pun intended).

9. They do grow into their ears.

When corgis are puppies, their ears are noticeably ginormous in comparison to their bodies. But, as the puppies grow, they do grow into their ears (Although, they still stay big throughout their entire life.).

10. They can be loud.

Yes, they do bark, and it can get kind of loud. Whenever my dog hears the doorbell, fireworks, the word "walk" or when he just wants you to play with him, he'll bark. If you're the kind of person that can't stand barking, once again, corgis may not be for you. Although they are smaller dogs, they do not have the yappy bark of a small dog.

11. They are NOT fat.

I can't stress this one enough, and this is a personal pet peeve of mine. My dog is not fat. There have been so many strangers that try to backseat-raise my dog by telling myself or my parents that we need to feed him less or take him on more walks (this once coming from a woman while my mom was at the dog park). I mean, hello, when did dog shaming become a thing? Corgis are not naturally fat dogs. They are known to be a stocky breed because they were used to herd cattle, hence why they have very short legs, no tail and are fast runners-to be able to work in an environment with animals that are more than ten times their size.

12. They're very good boys (and girls).

Corgis are such lovable, caring, friendly dogs. They make great companions, and although they may not like to cuddle, they'll always be there waiting by the door for you to come home to love you and show you endless affection.

Cover Image Credit: Laura Guerriero

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To My Rescue Dog, Thank You For Teaching Me A Lesson In Unconditional Love And Strength

Your perseverance taught me I can get through anything with love.

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To my rescue dog Xena,

When I first heard of you, I had no idea you were going to pop into my life. I fought long and hard to get Mom and Dad to let me have your brother, Bolt, and after five years of having him, I did not expect them to want to welcome in another furry friend. I hardly expected them to want to do so as a major hurricane that had just destroyed Puerto Rico barreled its way here, but they did.

Mom called me and told me you existed as I was about to come home. Here, I thought classes finally being canceled was going to be the best news I got all day. She sent me a picture of you in your crate and I did not even have to hear the rest. I knew I wanted to have you. Even if I had to force Bolt to learn to share and be nice, I knew you were mine.

Mom knew too and, after asking me if I was sure I wanted you—can you believe she had to ask?—we set off to bring you home. Bags packed, I met you an hour from home at some shady restaurant in the middle of Melrose. You were tinier than I expected and far skinnier than Bolt, but you wagged your tail at me and even jumped up to give me a kiss without any hesitation, and I fell for you.

I had no idea what you had been through leading up to that moment. They told us you were rescued from Hurricane Harvey only two weeks before, but that was all I knew. I had no clue your foster home had been flooded and that you were forced to float on a couch cushion to stay alive. I had no idea that you were covered in mud when they found you. All I knew when I got to hold you for the first time was that you were a very sweet girl who immediately showed me love.

What the wonders of unconditional love can show you.

You should have seen all of our faces when you first met Bolt. You were too busy sniffing him and already showing him you were the alpha dog to notice, but we were smitten by you. I felt my heart grow full knowing you were getting along with him. I felt utter joy knowing you were allowing us to give you a permanent home.

I was worried though about our future. About your future. We were not in the direct path of Hurricane Irma at the time, but I knew Irma was coming, and I was scared of how you would react. I saw you begin to tremble as it started to rain, and I noticed you begin to follow us around more skittishly than before. You probably thought Bolt was dumb for lounging around like normal. You also probably thought we were ridiculous for trying to get you to go out before things got bad.

That night when things did get bad, I will never forget the lesson you taught me. As I sat in bed, I watched as the path of Irma changed and put us right in the middle of a Category 2 storm and became afraid. I heard the wind start to pick up and I saw the lights flicker and soon go out, and I was terrified. This was the worst storm I was ever going to face. Even as an adult, I felt like crying.

But, then I looked at you. I saw you curled at my side, licking my arm, pawing at me to keep petting you, and I realized something. If a little dog like you could weather a massive hurricane like Harvey, I could get through this storm, too. Even though the wind sounded like a freight train and some trees in our neighborhood fell, you gave me the courage to get through it, Xena. You showed that you can weather any storm and find the happy ending after it if you just keep your strength and march on.

You also showed me, through completely trusting me to keep you safe during Irma, the power of unconditional love. You had known me for only twenty-four hours at the time, and you had just survived probably the scariest event of your life, yet you believed I would not let anything hurt you. You loved me. You blindly trusted I would protect you even when nature did its worst, and I will never forget that.

Bolt (tan) and Xena (black and tan) the day after Hurricane Irma hit Florida. Photo Credit: Laurel Swiderski

I remember it every time I see you now, whether it is at home bothering Bolt or in the picture frame on my apartment desk. You had the strength and love inside you to weather two storms no dog should have to endure alone and came out just fine. If you can do it, my warrior princess of hurricanes, so can I.

So can we all.

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