When You Give A Girl A Dog

When You Give A Girl A Dog

Having a new sidekick for life is the best way to kick off summer!

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When you give a girl a dog;

She gets her best friend,

Someone who will always love her unconditionally and without fail,

Someone to talk to when she doesn't need a response, just comfort,

A warm pillow to cuddle with at night when things get tough or life is scary,

A protector,

A family member,

A lifetime of memories,

When you give a girl a dog, she gets a lifelong friend, that becomes her family. Growing up with dogs my whole life, I was never without a floppy-eared companion when I needed one. It started off with Labradors, then a Jack Russell, two beagles, hunting dogs, and finally the sweetest hound dog a girl could ask for.

I love all dogs, mutts, purebreds; I'm not biased to any kind of dog. Although I love me some golden retrievers and Newfoundlands, I am an active advocate to "adopt, don't shop." Dogs in shelters deserve just as much love as a dog that comes from a breeder. If you are searching for a specific breed, there are specific breed rescues all throughout the United States. I always try to support local animal shelters and brands that donate to help homeless dogs, like Puppie Love or PAWZ. If I could open my own shelter and help every stray animal I come across, I would. After I finish college, I want to become a foster parent for dogs, and always have my home filled with endless amounts of love, fur, and slobber.

As summertime approaches, one thing is present in my mind; Puppies and dogs. Summer and spring are the times when lots of puppies are born, and lots of them end up in shelters. Dogs are lifelong companions and they become our family. However, what some people fail to realize is, a dog is for life. You can't abandon them when they aren't a puppy anymore. This is how so many animals end up in shelters and rescues. This summer, I ask if you are planning on getting someone in your family a dog, look to shelters. Shelters always have puppies, young dogs, adult dogs, and senior dogs.

Shelter dogs are the best kind of dogs in my personal opinion. They have so much love to give, and some of them have very trying backstories. I understand the appeal that buying from a breeder gives, but sometimes I think, "why should I pay $1,500 for a dog when I can go to my local animal shelter, pay $75.00 and get a dog that is just as great or better?" Throughout my life, all I've had was Labrador Retrievers and Lab mixes; always bought from a breeder, and even when we got a beagle, we got him from a friend who breeds them.

The summer before my senior year of high school, I wanted another dog. We had just lost our beagle, Blitz, and my Lab Jessie seemed lonely without a friend. I begged (more like annoyed) my Dad from February to August, I even created a powerpoint that finally convinced him to let me have another dog. After I got his approval, I started looking at my local shelter in Dinwiddie, and the local SPCA in Richmond. It was hard. I'd find a dog I liked, but they just never jumped out at me. When I started my senior year, I was disappointed that I hadn't been able to find a dog.

However, all my disappointment disappeared when I was scrolling through Facebook and came across the picture of a white puppy at the local animal shelter. He was one of two, his sister had been adopted early that week, and he was left alone. He and his sister had been picked up on the side of Courthouse Road, without a sign of their mother. From the moment I saw his picture, I knew it was meant to be! I asked my Mom to take us by the animal shelter after school to meet him, and it was one of the best feelings ever. He was snow white, long lanky legs, big paws, and the prettiest brown eyes I had ever seen. I picked him up and he just snuggled right into me; at that moment I was hooked. I knew he'd be coming home with me.

We went home that day to tell my Dad, and the next day I adopted him after school. I named him Harry, anyone who knows me knows I LOVE Harry Styles (and Harry Potter). It's funny, his name didn't suit him at first, but now I couldn't imagine him being named anything else. Harry is hands down the best dog I have ever had. He has more personality than any dog I've met, and he never fails to make me smile, even when he's being annoying as hell. He's my best friend, and someone I can talk to when I just want to talk without having a response.

Harry has been a faithful friend for three years now, and sometimes I feel since he was a shelter dog, he just has so much more love to give since at the start of his life, he didn't have love. I love my crazy boy, and he loves me. I can't wait to be home with him for the summer and go on some adventures together. We take the most dysfunctional selfies together, he tries to steal my food, I try to tell him, no but I end up giving him a bit of what I'm eating anyway. He's a chicken nugget fiend just like his Mama. Harry is my best friend and I wouldn't trade him for anything in the whole world.

So this summer, if you are leaning towards getting a dog, go to your local shelters. There are so many loving dogs who need good homes this year.

Trust me, you won't regret adopting a new best friend.

"Whoever said diamonds are a girl's best friend..never owned a dog."

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Top 10 Cutest Cat Breeds

These cat breeds are super cute and underrated.
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It seems that the only breeds anyone can actually recognize are those of dogs, cats really don't get enough recognition. There is just as much of a variety of cat breeds as there are of dog breeds, almost anyway, and they deserve love and recognition as well. So, here are the top 10 cat breeds I've deemed as the absolute cutest!

1. Exotic Persian

Exotic Persian cats are one of the cutest breeds in my opinion. Theses are the squished faced cats. The cats that perpetually look grumpy and disappointed. They're also super high-maintenance and believe you're supposed to cater to their every whim. Which, to be fair, you are.

2. Scottish Fold

Scootish Folds are super adorable because they're very unique. They're ears fold over, making them always appear to be begging you for something. They also always look a little bit sad, which, of course, only makes you love them more.

3. Himalayan

Himalayan cats are just magnificent and so prestigious. These cats are fluffy, deserve the best, and expect nothing but the best.

4. British Shorthair

I'm not sure what it is about these cats that makes them so adorable, but my roommate has tried to describe them as "fat and sassy." - Delaney Pulice. She's not wrong. They're pretty chubby and look like they're just a little bit too good for you. In all honesty, what cat isn't too good for us?

5. Maine Coon

These cats are particularly wonderful because they can be giant. I mean, giant. These cats can grown into the sizes of large dogs, which, of course, if everything we could all ever ask for in a cat. Who wouldn't want a giant cat that could probably double as a pillow?

6. Persian

These cats are only a little bit different from Exotic Persians, but there's a difference. Persians tend to have less squished face than Exotics, but every cat is different. The one above is a Silver Persian. He had to eat his food off of a plate because his flat face couldn't fit in a cat food bowl.

7. Munchkin

These tiny little guys never really grow much. Their legs are perpetually short and stubby, making them the ideal cats, because, if you had a choice, wouldn't you want your cat to be either giant like a Maine Coon or tiny like a Munchkin cat? Of course you would.

8. Siberian

These cats are just generally beautiful. They have long, shiny, fluffy coats and are just pretty cats. Plus, they look super cuddly, like they might purr for hours if you brushed them.

9. British Longhair

Another just simply beautiful cat. When you see those posts online that say "This cat is prettier than I am," yeah, that's these cats. They have long, soft coats as well that they like to keep clean. And as all cats do, they look like they're just a little bit above us and we have to cater to them.

10. Ragdoll

Finally, we have Ragdoll cats. These cats look a bit like fluffier Siamese cats. Which, let's face it, Siamese cats aren't necessarily the cutest. However, if you just add a lot of fluff, because the fluffier the better, they become much cuter.

Cover Image Credit: Megan Branch

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From A Rescue Dog: Thank You For Putting Me On A Chain

You tried to keep me chained to a tree, but I found my forever home in someone's arms.

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When I was a puppy, I saw different families come to get my brothers and sisters and take them home. I was sad, but I knew my day was coming. I knew that soon, I would have a family come get me. Then, you came. You picked me. I thought it was the happiest day of my life!

When we first got home, you let me stay inside. I thought I was the luckiest puppy in the world. But, I started having accidents in the house. I didn't know any better. I spent all day inside by myself; what was I supposed to do? I also chewed up a few things: sunglasses, shoes, and a hat to be exact. But, isn't that what puppies do? You fussed at me, a lot. I swear I didn't know it was going to make you mad, or I promise I wouldn't have done it. After a few days, you'd had enough. You took me outside. I thought we were going in the yard to play. I didn't know I'd never go inside again.

You took me to a tree in the backyard and attached a chain to my collar. It was so heavy. I didn't know what was happening. You left me a bowl of food and a bowl of water but nothing else. I didn't have a dog house or any toys. I heard you say that I didn't deserve it. I wish you knew how sorry I was. I hated being outside all by myself. I cried all night. I cried every night for a few weeks, but I eventually gave up. It wasn't doing anything.

You used to come to bring me fresh food and water every day, but after a few months, you began to forget about me. You gave me food and water maybe once a week. Do you have any idea how hot I was in the summer? Especially when you forgot to give me more water. The winter was even worse. I was freezing cold every single night. I'd wake up in the mornings covered in frost.

My whole body ached. Your kids would be outside playing, and they wouldn't come near me anymore. I had fleas. I didn't smell good. I probably looked scary because I was so skinny; you could see almost all of my bones. I was heartbroken. When you'd come outside, I'd bark because I wanted your attention. You didn't care... I lived outside on this chain for almost a year. I was hopeless. I was stuck. My heart was broken. I wished you loved me back.

Then, one day while you were all gone, a lady saw me. Neither of us knew it then, but the second she looked into my eyes, I became hers. She had a place in her heart just for me. She noticed I didn't have any food or water, so she gave me some. She was so nice. I got hugs and kisses; I had forgotten what those felt like. She even let me give her kisses back! The lady left, and I was so sad. I thought about her all night. Apparently, she thought about me all night, too. Because, the next day, she came back.

I saw her talking to you, but I didn't know what was going on. She walked over to me and took my collar off. I was a little confused, but it felt so good to not have my neck weighed down by the heavy chain. I jumped on her and gave her so many kisses. She didn't yell at me like you used to. She just smiled with tears in her eyes. She called me to follow her to her car. I looked for you, but you had gone back inside. I wouldn't ever see you again. This was actually the happiest day of my life.

She took me to her home, and she let me go inside. She put me in the bathtub, and I was scared at first, but it felt so good to be clean. After my bath, she gave me food and water. I ate and began to feel much better. She let me sit on the couch with her, and I fell asleep with her rubbing my belly. I woke up, and she took me outside. I was so scared I wasn't going to get to come back in, but I did! She let me come back in. That night, I slept in the bed with her. I was so happy.

This is my life every day now. I get to love her, and she loves me back. I am so thankful that she saved me. I'm not outside in the heat or freezing cold. I'm not hungry or thirsty. I'm not neglected. I'm not abused. I'm with her. I am taken care of.

I hope you never get another dog. You don't deserve one. But, thank you for getting me. Thank you for leaving me on a chain. Without you, I wouldn't have found my forever home. I wouldn't know what love is. I wouldn't get to love my human every single day. She loves me more than you ever could. So, thank you.

Love,

A Rescue Dog

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