Why A Dog Is So Much More Than Just A Pet

Why A Dog Is So Much More Than Just A Pet

"Man's best friend" couldn't be more true.
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Dogs are not just our furry friends that we love to snuggle with in bed or on the couch. These animals, or any animal for that matter, can grow to mean so much more than that.

What does your dog mean to you? Sometimes that can be a hard question to answer. You don’t normally take note of how much a dog can affect your life.

I always knew how special my dog was, but I wasn’t able to see how much she meant to me until she passed away. Sometimes you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.

Having a dog was one of the greatest gifts of my childhood. My dog made my life so much brighter, and it was so special that I was able to grow up with her. You are your dog’s entire life, but sometimes it feels like your dog is just as important to you as you are to them.

Although you teach your dog how to sit, stay, and not chew up the carpet, your dog also teaches you some pretty valuable lessons, even if you don’t realize it.

Dogs teach us how to love. They show us what loyalty is and give us a sense of companionship. There is nothing in the world like the love that a dog gives you and vice versa.

Does anyone in your life jump on top of you when you get home after a long day? Lick your face? Growl at other people when they feel you may be in danger? Nope. That’s just your dog.

The feeling you get when those things occur is indescribable. Your dog makes you feel like your heart is glowing, and you know you can always count on them to be there for you, even when you feel like no one else is.

Dogs also come into our lives to teach us about loss. There is nothing more heart-wrenching than having to say goodbye to your best friend. Trying to get used to a house that is no longer filled with your pup’s barking and jumping is something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.

It sucks. The loss of a dog makes you realize just how damn lucky you were to be able to care for such a sweet little animal and give it such a great life.

I will never ever get over the passing of my first dog, but getting a new puppy has really helped my family cope with the devastating loss. Every dog is loved and cherished in a different way than the last one or the next one. A new dog never replaces an old dog; it merely expands the heart. That is just what my new dog has taught me.

A dog never sees your flaws; it only sees how wonderful you are for giving it such an amazing life. Never forget to kiss your dog a few more times, give him or her a few more treats, and cherish every moment.

Cover Image Credit: Maggie Leenas

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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Blood Doesn't Determine Family

Blended families are just as much of a family as a traditional one.

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If you look above, you can see that have a very large family on my mother's side. Between my grandparents, aunts and uncle, cousins and my own immediate family, we're at thirty-three members and counting. All branches of our family tree have busy lives, so we don't get to see each other as much as often as we would hope to. Christmas is the one time a year where we all finally get together for the evening. If you sat in on our holiday party, you may think that we have a couple screws loose, but there is no doubt that you would be able to feel the love radiating from room to room.

If you look at the picture I chose for my header, you can see all of the cousins gathered for our yearly picture. Dysfunctional, of course, but you can tell that love is there. Would it surprise you that out of our entire huge family, less than half of us are blood-related?

I come from a blended family, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Blood does not determine family to us. Love does.

Divorce can be a messy thing, especially when children are involved. Both my aunt and uncle had remarried into relationships that already had children. For the most part, none of us can really ever remember a time when we weren't considered family. We don't ever look at each other as not being related. We never will. Family to us is the love and support that is shared unconditionally between us.

As I said, you would never be able to tell we weren't blood-related unless I told you. Not only do we all look similar to one another (which again is odd, because if the marriages had never taken place, we would just have a ton of doppelgangers running around), but the love and passion that we radiate is unmistakable that we have a bond that will never be broken, let alone determined by biology.

Blended families tend to get a bad rap sometimes from some of the horror stories that can come from second marriages. Not only that, but some people still are stuck in the idea that the only socially acceptable type of family is one where the lineage is clear and concise. Although I can see where these people come from, I don't believe that because there is a lack of shared genetics between all of us, our love is any less strong.

Family is those who will answer a call or text late at night because you need someone to talk to. They're the ones that you end up staying at their house and talking for hours when you meant to make a quick trip in. They are there for you no matter the situation and always believe in you one hundred percent.

Traditional families have a lot of love too, undoubtedly. But please, do not tell me that my family is any less of a family of a family because of its makeup. We have just as much love between us as families with the same bloodline. Blood does not determine the amount of love and affection between all of us. It never will. We will love each other as much as a traditional family. We never look at each other as a mixed family, so please stop treating us as such.

I've said it so many times, but I'll remind you once more. Blood does not determine family, love does-- and I love my family more than life itself.

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