Having Dogs Has Taught Me SO Much About Love

Having Dogs Has Taught Me SO Much About Love

I may love my dogs a little too much, but without them teaching me how to love I would not be the compassionate, loving person I am today.

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I will be the first to admit that I am a crazy dog lady. I spoil my three pups and constantly look at Instagram accounts about dogs or cute Facebook memes about the precious animals. For some people, my love for animals, especially dogs, is excessive and unreasonable, but my puppies really taught me how to be a loving person.

For my 18th birthday, I was able to adopt my sweet Turner.

He was only eight-weeks-old when we got him and all we knew is that he was some sort of chihuahua mix and that I fell in love with him instantly. From the moment I held him the first time, we had an odd connection like he understood everything I was saying completely —and let me tell you that made training him pretty easy.

We are now to the point that I can tell Turner to go to my room to get ready for bed and he immediately runs upstairs and curls himself up under the sheets waiting to sleep on top of my feet. We have this strange connection and it comes from a place of pure love.

Turner is the first dog that is completely mine — as opposed to a family dog — and because of that, he was already so special to me.

Even though he was incredibly special he was still difficult to train, as are most puppies. Having to wake up at 4:00 a.m. every day to him yelping because he was afraid of a crate taught me how to love patiently, even when I am tired and cranky.

Having to constantly clean up his messes because he learned how to destroy stuffed toys from a young age, taught me that even though times can be frustrating that does not mean the love you feel lessens in any way. He really showed me how to love patiently even at times I really did not want to.

Now my most recent adoption is an entirely different story.

My family adopted Romeo when he was two-and-a-half-months old believing he would grow to be a pretty small dog around 20 pounds. But now at the age of eight-months-old, he is almost double that.

Having a big dog teaches you so much. I also left the country for almost two months and three weeks after we rescued sweet Romeo, and having to watch him grow up from miles away was so difficult! However, this experience taught me that love is not something that comes just when you are with a soul every single day.

My puppy barely knew me when I left, but as soon as I walked through the door home he ran into my arms like I had been there every second and I knew he was still the loving puppy I had left at home.

These two dogs taught me so much about how to love in a way that is patient, adaptive and unceasing. Dogs are a huge part of a person's life and knowing I am going to have two fluffy, cuddle-filled best friends for a long time and I can bet that each and every day will bring a new lesson of love that every dog parent will come to learn.

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10 Reasons Australian Shepherds Are The Best Dogs

How can you not love a wiggle butt?

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Australian Shepherd's are a long-haired breed of working dog originally bred to herd livestock. Since their beginning, the role has reversed where they make outstanding house pets. Also known as Aussie's, the breed has become a favorite to many families all around the world. These are 10 out of the billions of reasons that Australian Shepherd's are the best dog ever.

1. They are balls of fluff as puppies.

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What is this cotton ball running at me!? Oh, wait! That is my Australian Shepherd. When they are small and they still have their baby hair, it sticks out and is really soft. They are a living, breathing, cotton ball with eyes. I might be biased, but Aussie puppies are the cutest puppies. They are so high energy and their personalities are really starting to shine through. They are the kind of puppy that will steal one's heart with one sweet look.

2. They are intelligent.

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It comes as no surprise that Australian Shepherd's are the genius of the dog world. With all their energy comes a willingness to be trained in order to drain their battery. They can easily learn basic tricks like sit, lay down, stay, and then some. Heck, my Aussie learned how to give me kisses on command without me even training her! If you are looking for a dog that is easy to train, then you have found your perfect match.

3. They are loyal.

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It is also no shocker that Australian Shepherds are loyal dogs. They will love you unconditionally. I cannot tell you how many times I have raised my voice at my dog and she seemed so sad. At the end of the day, she always cuddles up to me and makes me forget why I was even mad in the first place. They are the type of dog that would go back into a burning house to find their owner. Their love for us makes it impossible not to swoon over them

4. They like exercise.

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If running is your thing, you Aussie will be up for the challenge of going with you. Australian Shepherds are very active dogs. They like to be outside, running and playing. Making sure they get more than adequate amounts of exercise will make for a happy pup, as well will probably protect your belongings from being ripped up. Just like a child, if they do not get the proper amount of activity, they will get cranky and throw a fit. If you do not have a yard or you do not want to go on a lot of walks, then getting an Aussie is probably not for you. But I promise they will not be too much of a terror as long as you care for them properly.

5. They are happy dogs.

Rebecca Swyers

Aussie's are very happy and it is contagious - just like how another human's happiness is spreadable. Along with all the love they show comes great joy for you and the pup. They will show you that bliss when you come home, feed them, walk them, or just give them attention. If you like the cute picture of this pup, please show her love in the comments section because she is my Australian Shepherd. Her name is Millie. I never said this article was unbiased.

6. They have funny personalities.

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They are the quirkiest of dogs. Every single Aussie has a different, individual personality. Like every person, each Aussie is a snowflake (different from the next). For example, I have two Australian Shepherd. Millie (pictured on number 5), is milder tempered than our male Aussie, Mate. While both are high energy, Mate needs to go out more and is a little more pushy for attention. Millie is okay with sitting at home all day but is jealous. Both dogs, are different even though they grew up together.

7. They are born to work.

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Shepherd's were originally bred to heard. They come from the Western U.S, despite the name, and were bred to herd livestock in particular. Since this is the case, they are working dogs at heart. They will always be happiest with a job to do. If you live on land and have different types of cattle, the Aussie is the perfect dog to help you on the ranch. If not, be sure to give them sort of job. My dogs have took it upon themselves to keep my cats herded inside, despite never training them to do so. If you give them sort of job, they will love you and be happy.

8.They are gentle giants.

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While Aussie's are not really "giants", they sure are gentle. They are very docile when it comes to children and people they know they should be around. They will not be the one's to bite your fingers when you give them a treat, they will gently grab it from you. They are very sweet dogs which is part of what makes them the best breed of dog. What is not to love about a dog that will literally skip for you.

9. They are sleepy pups.

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With hard work comes a hard nap and the Australian Shepherd is the master of nap time. Aussie's are the best cuddle buddies know to man. While dogs are mans best friend, the Australian Shepherd is the BFF. They do get tired from all the hard work and the exhaustive activity of loving you. This makes them great at naps. They will sleep when you sleep and sleep when you are not sleeping. They will also cuddle the heck out of you while you are taking a siesta as well.

10. They have a wiggle butt. 

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The final reason that the Australian Shepherd is the best dog ever is their wiggle butt. When they get excited or happy, they will shake their whole back end. Since their tails typically get docked as babies, they do not have a tail to wag. Since that is the case, they will shake their whole butt like they would their tail. It is honestly the cutest thing you might ever see. It is just another reason to give all your love to this special breed of dog. If you need video proof of their wiggle butt please click here.

While I can think of billions of reasons that Australian Shepherd's are the best dog you could have, I have provided 10 of my favorite qualities about this special breed of dog. Dogs are truly man's best friends, but Aussie's are better than the other dogs. I may be biased, but you can be someday too.

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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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