Don't Tell Me You're A Dog Lover If You Didn't Adopt

Don't Tell Me You're A Dog Lover If You Didn't Adopt

Save an animal and money by adopting from local shelters.
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Dogs are often referred to as "Man's Best Friend." If dogs were truly Man's Best Friend though, why are we letting so many of them stay homeless in animal shelters or on the streets? Why are we paying breeders thousands of dollars instead of going to our local Humane Societies or pounds to rescue a pup that really needs a home?

I have five rescues at my home right now. Each has a different story. Each is an integral part of our family. Each could be in a totally different scenario if they were not adopted by my family.

My old man, Chippie (14), was left on the side of the road to die. He's a brown lab, around two years old when we brought him home. Neither my family nor the pound where we adopted him from was sure whether he was beaten or hit by a car however, one of his back legs had to be amputated. He is a Mama's boy. He follows my mom around like he is her shadow. He loves food and laying in the front yard. You would never know his past by his present circumstances.

Next is my girl, Amber (13). She is a beautiful Rhodesian Ridgeback, just six weeks old when we adopted her. She was a breeder's pup, left at the local pound because she didn't have the ridge on her back like Rhodesians are supposed to have. She has lived with us her entire life and has become my best friend. She loves to be splashed with water while people are in the pool, and loves to sleep on the couch. One "defect" in her physical appearance could have ended her life if my mom didn't adopt her in time.

Then comes Buddy (10). He is a Corgi mix, also just a puppy when we got him. He was lucky enough to be at a rescue shelter called the Lost Angels instead of a pound or other kill-shelter. He's funny looking because of his long ombré tail. But he loves to sleep under the couch and chase my other dogs around the yard. His short legs usually leave him far behind the pack but he tries his best. I could never imagine not having him around.

Faith (6) is next, and she's a story. We aren't quite sure of her breed, a testing site said she is a Plotthound. However, my mom was just helping a friend look for a dog at the local pound when the technician pointed out they had a three-legged dog - which intrigued my mom because we already had one tripod. Faith was rescued from a drug home where her owner kicked her until her leg was broken and never took her to get it fixed. When the police busted the couple for drugs, they found her and the result was the amputation of her back leg. Ironically, she and Chippie are missing the same leg. She is so sweet and loves to cuddle, it's so shocking to believe someone abused her in her past.

Lastly, and newest to the group is Mia (4). She's a beautiful yellow lab mix and was already almost a year old when we adopted her. A family friend owns a local-natural pet supply shop near our home. On one visit my mom saw Mia and was told how she was left outside the shop, infested by fleas and ticks. The owner took her in and cleaned her up and began searching for her a forever home. Obviously, we are her forever home and couldn't be happier to have her here. She loves stuffed animals and having her belly rubbed.

All five of these babies could have had horrible endings if it weren't for people like my mom who adopt instead of shopping for dogs.

According to the ASPCA, approximately 3.3 million dogs are brought into shelters each year in the US. The cost of shopping for a dog could be in the thousands, while adopting a shelter animal only requires the fees associated with taking care of that dog for however long it was in the shelter.

Adopting saves not only the dog but money too.

For more information about shelter animals, adoptions and donations check out https://www.aspca.org/.

Cover Image Credit: David Schap

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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8 Lessons I Learned From My Three-Legged Cat

Having a cat with three legs can teach you a lot about life

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Back in February, I was going through a spiral. I had no motivation to do anything, my candle was burning out if you will. My girlfriend and I had discussed getting a kitten so that our other cat, Athena, could have a little playmate. We got to the shelter, only to find that they had to quarantine a good number of their cats due to an FIV or leukemia contamination. Luckily, there were other cats that had been cleared and were ready to go out to a cat cafe. I got to hold a few, but the one that won was a little black kitten that had her leg amputated. I knew she was the one by the way she purred when I held her.

Over the last few months, this little cat, Posey, has taught me so much. Such as:

Anything is possible

Giphy

Posey has made incredible adjustments to having just three legs. She chases her sister, jumps up onto cabinets, you name it. Jumping down from ledges isn't quite her favorite, but she's been amazing about it. If she can adjust to that kind of life, so can I. Even if my job hunting isn't going great, nothing is going to stop me.

It takes some work to get where you want to be

Giphy

Of course, learning how to do things with three legs takes a lot of work. I don't know how she adjusted when she was in the shelter, but I do know that by the time we got her she was a little champ. She had to have put in effort post surgery to get where she is. Now I need to put in the work to get my life together.

Don't be afraid to speak up

Giphy

I'm going to say it right now: she is a little crybaby. I could be sitting two feet away, and she will start crying if I don't give her attention. She let it be known when she wants loving. Letting anyone, even my girlfriend, in on what's going through my head is something that I need to work on.

Someone will love you for you

Giphy

Cats like Posey usually have a harder time getting adopted, mostly because of color and "defect". That being said, if she was older, she might have been in the shelter even longer.

There's more than one way to contribute to the house

Giphy

When either of them start protesting about being held, my girlfriend and I just say "Oh I know, life is hard when you don't have to pay rent". In all seriousness, these two contribute in ways to help us deal with emotions. The more I think about what they do, the more I realize that I don't have to just work and put in a paycheck for the house.

It does not take much to be self sufficient

Giphy

I always worry about her when we go to Atlanta to take care of stuff for our move. But I know that they will be fine for a weekend as long as they have food, clean water, and a clean litter box. As long as I have basic needs met, I'll be okay.

Or to be happy

Giphy

She just wants to play and to cuddle. As long as she gets that, it does not take her much to purr like a motorboat. And just like having the needs met, as long as have the simple things, like something to do or someone to do that something with, I am happy.

There's always time for a nap (or just do nothing at all)

Giphy

She loves to sleep and gets fussy when anyone wakes her up. It's gotta be so tough to be as cute as she is. But more to the point, she takes time to take care of herself. And while I may not take a nap, I've realized that I don't have to be go-go-go all the time, and that slowing down and doing absolutely nothing actually helps. Now if I could actually do it, I'd be in business.

So, Posey, I thank you for bringing me so much and teaching me so much more.

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