unfortunate circumstances lead to giving dog away

An Open Dog Adoption

Giving away my best friend on the loneliest day of summer.

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For as long as I can remember, my family has always had pit bulls as our family pets. I was never a big fan of them and preferred "cute" dogs like Pomeranians or huskies. In the beginning of February 2017, my grandma picked up a puppy from a guy at a gas station who told her the dog was half German Shepherd and half Great Pyrenees. All I knew was she was an adorable little fluffball with wavy ears and a white tip on her tail.

My younger cousin named her Bailee. I was the one who took care of her and eventually she was my dog. When we moved closer to town I was responsible of finding her a home for the night before we signed the lease and she was the reason I had to come home every weekend my first year of college (my grandma insisted if I was not doing schoolwork I needed to be at home).

I should have known she was going to grow quite big by the previous owner's description, but we had suspicions she was not exactly the way he said she was. We figured she had some sort of collie in her because of how she will herd and just by her looks. Unfortunately I am a small adult as I have not grown much since middle school. Along with other issues, I am not strong enough to lift her into her crate at night or even push her off my bed, which she sheds on if she gets on it.

After realizing this and having to move into a small trailer with my grandma in Norman, I had to make the decision to try and rehome her by myself. Writing about her and posting her picture on Facebook with the words "free to good home" made me an inconsolable ball of tears for the rest of the night. That attempt was not very successful at all with only maybe 10 reactions, but no comments whatsoever. At that point I was looking at shelters because she was not allowed at the trailer and I was running out of time.

I visited an animal shelter for a school paper last semester and could not convince myself that leaving her there, knowing what happens to pets that can't find homes, was a good idea. Last Sunday I got a text from my uncle's girlfriend, Cassie, saying she had a guy who wanted Bailee. I was happy that she wasn't going to have to sit in a shelter just hopelessly waiting. As I am writing this it is Thursday evening and tomorrow Cassie and I are going to make the three hour drive to deliver my dog to this man.

I found him on Facebook and have talked with him a couple of times, mostly to introduce myself. He seems really nice and is so excited to meet Bailee, which he should be. I asked if he would be okay with giving me updates every once in a while, which he agreed to. I can only pray that he takes good care of her, that she forgives me for giving her away and that she will be at her happiest.

At this point in my life, I can't really tell if I have more than five reliable friends. During the summer months the most I hear from people other than my boyfriend are streaks on Snapchat, so I spend almost all of my time alone. I just wish I had more time and space to hang out with one of my absolute best friends, even if she is a dog.

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Hailey Miller's Debut Single Is 'The One'

"The One" is available now across all streaming platforms.

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Being able to blend genres well is a true testament to a great artist, and Hailey Miller has done just that. Breaking onto the pop-country scene with her debut single "The One", the song speaks to the lessons that come out of unfortunate heartbreak, and definitely resonates with people going through one. I got the chance to talk with Hailey about her music, Nashville, and plans for the future:

1. What inspiration did you pull from to write "The One"?

"The One" was inspired by a relationship I was in. It was young love, not the healthiest relationship, and was dragged on for way longer than it should've been. I'd pretty much worked through all the heartbreak by the time it was fully over, and this song felt like the final piece to the puzzle. To acknowledge that some good came from the whole experience, and that lessons were learned. It just kind of poured out of me. It was exactly what I needed at the time. I wrote it and instantly felt peace. Like I could finally let it all go. It's a different kind of breakup anthem, and I hope that people can connect to it in the same way I did.

2. Do you tend to pull from personal experience to write or do you write using a third person perspective?

I definitely prefer to write from personal experience. I've written from a third person perspective, but it always feels more genuine for me to write about things I've been through first hand. It's just easier! It flows better, and feels more honest. Especially if I'm planning on using the song for myself. As an artist, I always want the truths I'm speaking to be genuine. I feel like people connect better that way. If I can't fully connect to the stuff I'm singing, how can I expect the listeners to? Personally, as an artist, the stories behind my songs are just as important to me as the song itself. That being said, if I can connect to someone else's experience deeply, writing third person can be just as fun!

3. What has your experience been like being a woman in the music industry?

You know, I don't have anything negative to say about my experience so far. I've felt respected as an artist from almost everyone I've personally come across in the industry. This being said, I'm very aware of the challenges females tend to face on a larger scale, especially in country. But I try to not let it phase me. In my mind, I'm just an artist…not a "female artist".

4. Growing up in Oregon, what/who inspired you to move to Nashville and write country music?

My earliest inspiration was definitely my aunt. She was singing country music professionally when I was super young, so I grew up seeing that and my family was super good about surrounding me with all sorts of music. My dad had this thing where he would always tell me to "listen to the words" and then at the end of the song I'd have to tell him what I thought it was about. It made me realize at a young age that music isn't just sound, it's stories. I fell in love with country music and its stories. Then came along these powerhouse female singer/songwriters…like Taylor Swift, and that was it. I knew it was something I wanted to do, and I knew Nashville was the place to do it. So, I learned the guitar, taught myself how to write, and made the move as soon as I possibly could! It's pretty much a 19 year old dream in the making at this point.

5. How has Nashville shaped your artistry and/or songwriting since moving there?

Nashville has already shaped my artistry and songwriting immensely. I think the biggest thing is being around so many talented artists and writers. It's super inspiring! Every time I go to a show or writer's round in town, I go home wanting to work even harder. That's the magic about Nashville. In a place where the industry could feel very competitive, the community is so amazing that instead of feeling intimidated, I feel inspired. I think that's so cool. Being able to learn your craft in an environment like that, where everybody is willing to collaborate and learn from each other. There's no room to sit still and not work hard. I think that alone has made me a better artist and writer. I've discovered my own unique writing style and sound, and can't wait to develop it even more.

6. What has your experience been like releasing your first single independently?

It's been amazing! I've had the best time with it. The process was so fun, and such a learning experience. Since it was my first release, I tried to go into it with little to no expectations and I've been blown away! The support I've received is beyond what I ever expected, and people are listening!! That's all I could've ever asked for. I think putting out music for any artist, independent or not, is always a little scary because there's this fear that people won't connect to such a personal part of you. There's so much work behind the scenes that goes into it. But it is so rewarding to read people's messages about how they connect or relate to the song. It's the best feeling in the world!

7. What are your future goals and aspirations within the music industry?

I ultimately just want to keep writing and putting out music that I love, and that other people love. Whether that's on a small scale level, or a larger scale. As long as I'm continuing to make music, I'm happy! That being said, I'd love to do some touring soon, and work towards my first EP/full length album.

8. Do you have plans to release new music soon?

Plans are in the works. I don't have a definitive date for you guys quite yet, but new music is on its way! I've been writing tons and I have some stuff that I'm dying to get out. I'd keep an eye out in the upcoming months for sure.

Listen to "The One" across all streaming platforms now and keep an eye out for future music from Hailey!


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Why You Should Never Give Pets As Christmas Gifts

What about a puppy?

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It's around the winter holidays and everyone is searching for the best gift to give your friends, parents, and family members. Many Christmas movies give people the idea that animals such as dogs and cats or other interesting creature you can easily buy at PetSmart would be the perfect gift, but that could potentially be the worst gift ever.

When deciding to give an animal away as a Christmas present, ask yourself one thing: Have I discussed a new pet and the responsibilities with the new owner of said pet? If you are not absolutely sure and confident that they have the means and resources to take in a new pet, then it is best to find another gift. They may have a rental house or apartment, a roommate with an allergy or not prepared to take care of potential veterinary bills. Another danger is getting a new pet for a child as a Christmas gift. A puppy does not stay a puppy and a cute Christmas gift can turn into a resented Christmas dog in eight months.

Some animal shelters get busier after the holidays because people have decided their cute animal is not going to work out. If you surprise someone with a pet as a Christmas gift, you are potentially gambling with that animal's life. The average cat and dog lifespan is around 13 years, but cats often live longer than dogs, so remember that typical pets are a long commitment and not something to play with for a few months, then surrender to a shelter when you have decided you are done with it.

As for smaller animals such as hamsters, guinea pigs, or sometimes hedgehogs, do your own research on what specific breeds will need. The starter kits commonly sold at pet stores do not always allow the animal adequate space that it needs to be healthy. Keep in mind that just because these animals have shorter lifespans and seem low maintenance that they require just as much attention, love and care as cats and dogs.

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