Saying Goodbye To My First Pet Broke My Heart, But I Wouldn't Trade My Time With Her For The World

Saying Goodbye To My First Pet Broke My Heart, But I Wouldn't Trade My Time With Her For The World

No one goes into buying a pet thinking about the day they are going to die, but we all know that more often than not, they'll go before we do.
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The heartache we feel when we lose a pet is soul-crushing. The pain of losing your first pet, however, that one stings just a bit more than most.

I knew I'd lose you someday, I just didn't know when that someday would be.

Watching you take your last breath, knowing that the last 12 years with my best friend by my side were coming to an end was devastating. I felt my entire world crumble around me.

I cried for days. I cried when I woke up, I cried throughout the day, I cried before I went to sleep at night. I still cry sometimes.

But, I wouldn't trade those 12 years for the world.

Despite the pain that came with losing you, I wouldn't turn back time and have lived the last 12 years without you just to avoid the hurt that I've experienced since you passed.

You watched me grow up, and you protected me from everyone. (Literally everyone...my dad and brother couldn't even joke around with me without you getting upset at them.)

You caught my tears at night when I cried my way through being bullied in middle school.

You saw me transfer schools going into high school, and you saw me transfer schools yet again in college.

I've lost friends and made new ones, but you're the one who never left. Even now, you may be gone, but your memory and impact lives on in my heart and mind forever.

The night we lost you, I told my dad I never wanted any more dogs... or any other pet for that matter.

He told me I couldn't cancel out 12 years of happiness and great memories because of one day of badness, that, unfortunately, was inevitable.

He was right.

I will have dogs again someday, and yes, at some point, those dogs will pass on as well. No matter what we do or how badly we wish our four-legged friends could outlive us, it really isn't bound to happen.

I don't know about you, but I don't know any 80-year-old dogs out there.

We aren't guaranteed 50 years with our furry friends, by whatever design God made them, it's just not in their nature.

When I think of the nature of the time we are given with our furry friends, I think of a quote from a book I loved in high school.

"There are infinite numbers between 0 and 1. There's .1 and .12 and .112 and an infinite collection of others. Of course, there is a bigger set of numbers between 0 and 2, or between 0 and a million. Some infinities are bigger than other infinities. A writer we used to like taught us that. There are days, many of them, when I resent the size of my unbounded set. I want more numbers than I'm likely to get, and God, I want more numbers for Augustus Waters than he got. But, Gus, my love, I cannot tell you how thankful I am for our little infinity. I wouldn't trade it for the world. You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I'm grateful." — John Green, "The Fault In Our Stars"

See, I knew going into it that my dog's "infinity" wasn't going to be as big as some infinities. In fact, I'm surprised that I got a 12-year infinity with her considering some dog owners don't even get that.

But, if an infinity is good, no matter how short it may be, it was worth it.

We, as a society, tend to think that longer is better because, selfishly, we want our loved one around forever. But if we truly love them, really and truly love them, we let them go when their time comes, resting in the memories we do have because if we truly love them, we don't want them here just for our own pleasure if they're suffering.

What kind of a love is that?

A selfish one...that's what.

No one goes into buying a pet thinking about the day they are going to die, but we all know that more often than not, they'll go before we do. We acknowledge that their entire life only makes up what is a small portion of ours.

I like to believe that our pets live such short lives because that's all they need to make an everlasting paw print on ours. After living through losing my first pet, I can confirm that's true.

So, yeah, losing a pet isn't easy--no one ever said it was going to be easy. But, in the end, I wouldn't trade the happiness owning a pet has brought me for anything else in the world.

You can't let the prospect of some sadness stop you from getting a pet. Because the only thing stronger than the sadness you'll feel when they're gone is the happiness you'll feel while they're here.

In honor of Olivia: 02/09/2006-03/17/2018
Cover Image Credit: Bri Cicero

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20 Of The Coolest Animal Species In The World

Animals that almost seem imaginary.
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The world is full of amazing animals. So amazing, that narrowing them down to 20 felt nearly impossible. To determine who made the cut for this list, I used very important factors such as, cuteness and how much some of them looked like Pokémon . I know, very official. So here are some of the coolest animals in the world.

1. Pink Fairy Armadillo

The pink fairy armadillo is the smallest and cutest species of armadillo. It is on the list of threatened species and is found in the sandy plains, dunes, and grasslands of Argentina. The pink fairy armadillo is a nocturnal creature that survives mostly on insects and plants.


2. Okapi

The okapi is an animal native to the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa. Although the stripes make many people believe okapi are related to zebra, they are actually closer to giraffe. Okapi are solitary creatures and come together to breed. They are herbivores, mostly eating leaves, grass, and other plants.


3. Glaucus Atlanticus or "the Blue Dragon"

These little dragon-like creatures are often only about a few inches long and can be found in the Indian Pacific Oceans. The blue dragon floats upside down in order to blend the blue side of them with the water, and the silver side with the surface of the ocean. This tiny dragon feeds on creatures like the man o' war and can even deliver a sting similar to it.


4. The Maned Wolf

The maned wolf is often found in the grasslands of south, central-west, and southeastern parts of Brazil. It is neither related to wolves nor foxes despite its appearance and name, but is actually closer to dogs. The maned wolf hunts alone and primarily eats both meat and plants (about 50% of its diet).


5. Fossa

The fossa is a carnivorous animal located in Madagascar. Despite having many traits similar to cats, it is more closely related to the Mongoose. The fossa is only found in forest habitats and can hunt in either daytime or night. Over 50 percent of its diet happens to be lemurs.


6. Japanese Spider Crab

As the name suggestions, the Japanese spider crab inhabits the waters surrounding Japan. In many parts of Japan, this crab can be considered a delicacy but can be considerably difficult to catch. The Japanese spider crab can grow to 12 feet long from claw to claw. There is only one sea creature-- amongst similar species (aka crustaceans)-- that beats the weight of a Japanese spider crab: the American Lobster.


7. Pacu Fish

Look closely at the teeth, do they look familiar? This fish is found in the waters of South America. This fish, while related to the piranha, can actually grow much larger. They can also be found in rivers like the Amazon and is an aid to the fishing industry. Unlike the piranha, pacu mostly only eat seeds and nuts, though can still create nasty injuries to other animals if need be.


8. Slow Loris

The slow loris is a nocturnal creature found in Southeast Asia. While very adorable, the loris's teeth are actually quite venomous. The toxin on their teeth can also be applied to fur through grooming to protect its babies from predators. Often times these creatures forage and spend time alone, although can on occasion be seen with other slow lorises. Apart from their toxic teeth, the slow lorises have another defense mechanism, in which they move nearly completely silently in order to prevent discovery.


9. Angora Rabbit

These cute, fluffy rabbits are among the hairiest breeds of rabbit of both wild and domestic types. These rabbits originated in Turkey although managed to spread throughout Europe and was even brought to the United States in the 20th century. These rabbits are often bred for their soft wool which can be made into clothing, and often get rid of their own coats every 3-4 months.


10. Axolotl

The axolotl or "Mexican salamander" (who looks like a Pokémon , if you ask me) is often spotted in lakes in various places around Mexico. These little salamanders are amphibious although often spend their adult lives strictly in the water. However, the population of these cute creatures is dwindling due to non-native predators and the continued urbanization of Mexico. The axolotl eats small worms, insects, and fish in order to survive.


11. Liger

The liger, however made up it sounds, is a real (and cute) animal created by a lion and a tiger mating. Ligers only seem to exist in captivity or zoos because the lion and tiger don't share the same habitat in the wild. Unfortunately, these animals don't live very long or are sterile despite being bigger than both the lion and the tiger. While these animals are cool and unique, they are not strictly natural or sustainable.


12. Bearded Vulture

I don't know about you all, but this vulture reminds me of a phoenix which was initially why I looked into the creature. These vultures inhabit a range of places from southern Europe to the Indian subcontinent, to Tibet. This vulture, like other vultures, typically eats dead animals, although it has been documented that the bearded vulture will attack live prey more often than other vultures.


13. Goblin Shark


This unusual shark is also known as a "living fossil" because they are the last representative of sharks that lived about 125 million years ago. It is a deep sea shark that can grow between 10-13 feet if not longer. The goblin shark has been caught accidentally in every major ocean. The goblin shark is not a fast swimmer and relies on ambushing its prey.


14. Red Panda

This cute, small panda lives in the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China. The red panda is rather small, only about the same size as most domestic cats. Its eating habits range from bamboo, to eggs, to insects, and several other small mammals. The red panda is primarily sedentary during the day and at night or in the morning does whatever hunting it needs to do.


15. Blobfish

This blobfish is, in a way, so ugly that it is cute (although reminds me of a certain Pokémon ) This fish lives in the deep waters of Australia, Tasmania, and New Zealand. The blobfish has a density only sightly above that of water. The fish primarily hunts by just floating along and letting creatures wander into its mouth, rather than expending any energy.


16. Leaf Deer

The leaf deer is usually found in dense forests in the northwest region of Putao. The adult leaf deer only stands at about 20 inches high and the males and females are nearly identical except for an inch long horn on the males. It is called a leaf deer because hunters could wrap the deer in a single large leaf.


17. Tiger

While tigers are a more common animal than many others on this list, it is still one of the coolest animals in the world. Tigers are the largest of all cats and once ranged from Russia, to Turkey, to parts of Asia — almost all over the world. These animals are fierce, powerful creatures, although they are on the endangered species list.


18. Narwhals

Narwhals are a species of whale that live in the waters around Greenland, Canada, and Russia. The narwhal's diet changes depending on the time of year: in the spring the narwhal will eat cod, while in the winter the narwhal will eat flatfish. Narwhals can live up to 50 years and most frequently die of suffocation from being trapped under the ice.


19. Cheetah

Cheetahs, while more commonly heard of then some of the other animals on this list, are still incredibly cool. They often inhabit many parts of Africa and Iran. These amazing cats can reach up to 60 miles per hour in three seconds and use their tails to make quick and sudden turns. These amazing cats also have semi-retractable claws which helps with speed. The cheetah, however, doesn't have much besides speed to defend itself.


And finally....


20. Superb Bird of Paradise

This GIF demonstrates the mating dance used by male superb birds of paradise. Typically females reject about 20 mates before selecting one they want to mate with. They are often found in New Guinea although it is unsure just how many of these birds there are. As far as scientists know, the population has remained stable.

Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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7 Chakra-Healing Crystals You Need To Buy

As you remember to eat your veggies, heal your chakras.

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Use this holiday season to benefit and cleanse YOU. I know you are probably buying multiple holiday gifts, so treat yourself by buying the stones below! I am a firm believer in energy healing using nature's gifts. Because I cannot burn anything in my dorm room at school, my bedroom at home is filled with incense and cedar that I burn. Additionally, I have sage in an abalone shell on the top of my dresser. My favorite type of medicine is my collection of healing stones that I have. Here are seven that I recommend buying (one for each chakra), in addition to sage and incense, which are so relaxing, purifying, and refreshing! Each stone has many mental and physical healing properties. You will prosper if your seven chakras always are in balance. Be positive and believe!

1. Amethyst.

Maddy Harkness

This beautiful purple crystal can be placed on the crown chakra which is located on the top of the head. This chakra is associated with your connection to the universe, spirituality, and optimism. Amethyst calms tension, helps you avoid anger, and be confident. It aids with detoxing and headaches!

2. Lapis lazuli.

Maddy Harkness

This bright blue crystal can be placed on the brow chakra which is located on the middle of your forehead, above your eyebrows (this spot is commonly known as the "Third Eye"). This chakra is connected to your mind, ideas, and thoughts. It improves your yin and yang balance, aiding relationships. Lapis lazuli promotes expression, wisdom, and dreams. It protects your bones and immune system.

3. Blue lace agate.

Maddy Harkness

This interesting crystal can be placed on the throat chakra which is on the middle of your throat. This chakra is connected to your communication, freedom, and leadership. It is a very gentle stone that helps you when you are tired. It also improves bone and nail growth.

4. Rose quartz.

Maddy Harkness

What a gem! This crystal can be placed on the heart chakra or the middle of your chest. This chakra is connected to safety, trust, and love. It heals phobias and unbalanced emotions. It aids with sexual liberation as well!

5. Citrine.

Maddy Harkness

Citrine heals the solar plexus chakra, which is located at the bottom of your breastbone. This chakra is associated with power, centering, and emotions. Citrine brings wealth and helps you problem-solve. It also benefits your digestive system!

6. Moonstone.

Maddy Harkness

The moon is one of my favorite things, and the moonstone is my favorite healing crystal. It heals the sacral chakra, which is located right below your belly button. It is associated with your energy, creativity, and connection with others. Moonstone helps with menstrual cramps, blood circulation, habit-breaking, and composure.

7. Red Jasper.

Maddy Harkness

Red jasper heals your base chakra, which is located at the bottom of your spine. The base chakra is associated with health, survival, and your roots to this earth. Red Jasper helps ease anxiety, ward off sickness, and give you renewing qualities.

I hope people learn from this and buy the stones that will benefit them! I have many, and I have bought them from many local stores. You can even buy them online! Do some research...do your chakras need to be healed? If so, which ones? Balance yourself! You can always meditate with these healing crystals while placing them on your body and breathing. If you do buy any crystals, never forget to cleanse them once in a while, just like they cleanse you. You may do this by placing them in the moonlight, especially during a full moon, or digging a hole outside in the dirt, place them in the hole and cover it with more dirt, and let them purify with Mother Earth for about a week. After you cleanse them choosing, either way, they will be fulfilled with their wonderful properties. Call me a hippy, but this works! Go ahead and heal yourself and your chakras. Although veggies and antioxidants are dandy and all, this crystal healing benefits your complete well-being.

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