What Is Life Without a Bulldog By Your Side?

What Is Life Without a Bulldog By Your Side?

To have a bulldog is to have a life-long friend.

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They may not be the most active animal or the cutest, but after owning a bulldog for a year now, there's no other dog I would rather have in my life. Here are six reasons why bulldogs are the best dogs.

They’re ugly but cute

Palmer laying in the sun

Haley Zmuda

This year's ugliest dog winner was a bulldog named Zsa Zsa. But underneath all the wrinkles and slobber is a teddy bear of a dog. The saying “they are so ugly they're cute" is an actual thing. Wrinkles, slobber and drool are all traits that suddenly turn adorable after owning a bulldog. You can't be mad when you get thrown into a pile of little bulldog puppies and they crawl all over you. It's cute!

They’re stupid but brilliant

Haley Zmuda

Dog intellegence is based off how easy a dog is trained; bulldogs are nowhere near the top of the charts. A bulldog's dopey behavior and stubborness lead to them needing to be told what to do multiple times before they actually do it. For example, my bulldog has learned many tricks through a routine: “sit, shake, lay down, roll over, treat." He also knows “spin," but for some reason can only spin counterclockwise, not the other way around.

They’re timid but fearless

Haley Zmuda

The breed has the word “bull" in it, so you would think these dogs would have strong courage and all, but when it comes to my bully, he can't go near plastic bags and plants; it's like they're the most deathly thing around. So yes, bulldogs are scared of basically everything, but they are also the most outgoing dogs I've met also. They can walk up to any dog and instantly try to befriend it. No fear in friendship.

They’re lazy but energetic

Palmer bundled up

Haley Zmuda

It seems like bulldogs sleep about 85 percent of the day; they're snoring up a storm and drooling all over the place. However, in the 15 percent of time they are awake, they are the funniest and most active dogs ever. Many bulldog owners talk about “zoomies" and they're the real deal. In a short span of time, they go crazy with energy, mostly during the late evenings when all you want to do is chill out.

They’re a man’s best friend but also a woman’s

Haley Zmuda

Bulldogs get along with anyone and everyone. They're big teddy bears who are great with single people, married couples, kids, teenagers, pets etc. All they want to do is play and bring joy to the people/animals they love.

They’re a lot to handle but it's so worth it

Haley Zmuda

With great power comes great responsibility. The only thing low maintenance about this dog is the exercise level. Bulldogs have a ton of health issues that come along with them. My dog is allergic to chicken so we have to buy lamb and pork products, has trouble breathing and has irritated skin inbetween his wrinkles that you have to clean out fairly often. But all of these issues are so worth the experience of having a bulldog. They promise to make you smile and laugh everyday, endlessly love you and others and will surprise you constantly with new things and experiences. They are the absolute best breed to own in any situation (unless you like running and hiking, then keep them in the house).

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How Having A Pet Changed My Life

My dogs are my best friends.
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Whether it be a fish, bird, cat or turtle or maybe even all of the above, pets are a part of the family. I got my first pet when I was like five and she was a dog. She was my best friend (and still is). I don't have a preference as to what kind of pet I like the most but if I could I would take all the pets from the shelters and keep them as my own. One of the reasons I got a dog was because I had begged and begged my parents to get me one.

I love my pets, some more than others (but they don't need to know that). I've lived at least 10 years with some sort of animal companion. I share a special bond with my animals more than I do with humans. My favorite would have to be my four year old Husky, German Shepherd mix. He is the biggest baby you could ever meet. He may get on my nerves but I love him to pieces.

My family and I got him on April sixth, 2012. He was born the day one of my good friends was hit by a car and killed. He was actually the girl’s dog. He was the only all white one in the bunch and I picked him. He was a big fluff ball when we finally were able to bring him home. He's changed my life in so many positive ways.

He has been there for me through everything. From cuddling, eating goldfish and watching movies to crying and telling him how my day was. When I moved to college, he was the only one I truly missed. He also greets me with the biggest smile and plays fetch (more like I throw it and he just lays down and chews the toy). When everyone else fails, he is always there to dry my tears, by licking them off my face of course.

I couldn't picture my life without my big baby boy, and he is so very special to me. He gets me more than a lot of humans do. He also made me truly realize what I wanted to do in life, be a Veterinarian. He lets me look at his teeth, clean him, cut his toe nails and loves when I brush him. He even likes having bandannas around his neck.

He is also very protective. He knows when someone is trying to hurt my family and I. He barks to let that person know he means business. Unfortunately, as soon as you pet him, it won't stop wanting the attention. He listens well and does what he is told. He gets treats, table scraps and even burps when he is done eating or drinking.

He'll be my forever fur baby even when he is gone, but for now I'll enjoy him while he is still here. Pets might get annoying or get on your last nerve but it will be all worth it when they cuddle up next to you, or give you kisses or just look at you with their puppy dog eyes.

Cover Image Credit: Marissa Douglas

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Yes, I Have A Pet Snake And No, I Am Not Crazy

Deciding to get a ball python as a pet was one of the best decisions of my life.

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Three summers ago, I started volunteering at The Toledo Zoo and I fell hardcore in love with animals. I had always loved them, but when I started getting more involved and eventually got hired I started seriously thinking about getting a snake as a pet.

When I was a kid, I was terrified of snakes thanks to a documentary my dad showed me where a man got consumed by an anaconda. Now we've come full circle, and my baby ball python named Kluber lives happily in a bedroom at my dad's house. It took my sister and me some convincing to get my dad and stepmom on board with owning one of the most feared animals ever in a tank in our bedroom, but after a thorough powerpoint presentation, two educational youtube videos, and my background of animal handling and zoo training, they finally agreed to let a danger noodle into our home.

When we started looking for a baby ball python from a reputable breeder, we already knew we wanted a young male with some kind of abnormal color markings. We also knew that we were going to name him Kluber after Corey Kluber, the pitcher for the Cleveland Indians. We searched long and hard for a unique animal that didn't completely break the bank, and thanks to Morphmarket we stumbled across Twin City Constrictors. They had a fresh group of baby pastel 100% albino ball pythons for sale (which basically just means they are lighter in color and will have albino babies) and we immediately fell in love with one of them.

After talking to the owner and deciding a time to have the baby snake shipped to our house, we exchanged the cash and set out to make the coolest and safest ball python enclosure ever. One of the references that really helped was this video by Brian Barczyk on how to set up a starting enclosure that won't make your wallet cry. Once everything was ready, we just needed to wait for the overnight shipping of our new snake friend.

Kluber gives amazing hugs Megan Carmen

When the box showed up on our porch, I was the only one home so I got the honor of seeing our new pet for the first time. I opened the box, and the tiniest, cutest, most terrified face I had ever seen stared back at me from inside a small plastic cup. The poor guy was so scared, and I would be too if I had just spent all night in a box on a truck. I opened the container and reached my hand toward him. Now I know exactly what all of you snake haters out there are thinking.

Megan Carmen

For those of you wondering "Did he bite you?" or "Did he use his incredible rage against humans as an excuse to strangle you to death on the spot?", the answer is no. Ball pythons are shy animals and get their name because when threatened or in danger, they curl up into a ball instead of attacking. So as I reached my hand into the cup to move him into his cage, all he did was shake in fear. Sometimes it is important to recognize that we as humans are the biggest predator around.

Snakes take the best selfies Megan Carmen

After a week or so spent acclimating in his cage, baby snake Kluber had become comfortable enough to be handled. We started out slow to make sure he felt safe and wasn't stressed, but he just so happens to be the most amazing snake ever to live and he loves to explore and scope out the outside world so he was instantly in love with being out of his tank. He even started to sit in the branches at the top of his tank to let us know he wanted to socialize.

Time to explore! Megan Carmen

There are a lot of things that make owning a snake fun, like seeing their personality develop, watching them explore, and seeing them shed. For us though, Kluber has been a family bonding experience. I got to share my passion and love for these incredible creatures with my family and educate them on the proper care necessary for reptiles. I saw my once-apprehensive stepmom, Melissa, form a bond with Kluber and become genuinely interested in him and snakes in general. We all gathered together in awe the first time we watched him eat, shocked that something without arms or legs was able to devour a mouse that fast. But most importantly, we all have developed a love for a creature that extends beyond anything we could have predicted.

Kluber enjoying his home Megan Carmen

When we received a two-month-old ball python back in August, never did we think he would be as important to us as he is. He has his own nicknames, a very special personality, and the cutest little tongue ever. Kluber is now just under two feet long, the perfect amount of chunky, and eating an adult mouse every two weeks. He will grow another three feet and be as big around as a baseball bat at his prime, and he will live another 20-30 years. It is so exciting to watch him grow and develop and it is so gratifying to know that we get to be a part of this creatures life. It's exactly like owning a dog... just not as fuzzy and with significantly fewer legs.

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