On My Sunshine With Paws

On My Sunshine With Paws

Or, a girl and her dog.

My dog, Sunny, was a lap dog for several years after we adopted him, but we stopped allowing him on the furniture when we got a new couch in the summer of 2007. My mom wanted the furniture to stay nicer, and even though his fur got everywhere, she hoped that this would deter some of it from sticking to the new couch, loveseat, and chair.

After that change, Sunny stopped cuddling with me as much. He still wanted attention and loved to be petted, but he wasn’t as amiable to sitting on my lap anymore. One instance when he practically begged to be close to me sticks out in my mind, though.

The summer of 2015, we moved from Illinois to Virginia for my dad’s new job. He’d been in Richmond since March, but my mom and I had stayed in Illinois until the house sold. When that finally happened, our moving date was set for the end of June. The whole month was a frenzy of packing and cleaning, and I also tried to squeeze in as much time as I could with my best friends.

My dad flew in the week before the moving date to help with the final packing and garage sale. His flight arrived on a Tuesday evening. My mom went to pick him up, but I stayed behind to get some homework done for my online summer class. Time trickled by, and I finished several assignments so I wouldn’t have too much to do when we would be on the road the next week. I watched TV as I worked, and Sunny stretched out in his bed below the entertainment center. He loved to sleep, especially as he got older.

The phone rang around 7:30, and I heard my mom on the other end. Her voice was muffled by traffic noise and wind. She told me our minivan had broken down along I-90. She’d already picked up Dad at the airport, but they were now at a mechanic’s in a suburb closer to Chicago than home. The tow truck driver had graciously offered to drive my parents the rest of the way to Woodstock, but they wouldn’t be home until close to nine. My parents were safe, though, and that was what mattered—besides getting the van fixed so it would take us across the country for the move.

As I had talked on the phone, Sunny had stood up and stretched, disturbed by my voice. He sat at my feet and whined—as if he sensed something was wrong. In the past months, he had become even more attached to my mom than normal, and he didn’t seem to like that she had been gone for so long.

So I did something I hadn’t done since I was ten: I lifted my old puppy onto the couch and made a space for him to lie between my knees. He curled up, still whimpering. I stroked his smooth head and gently shushed him.

As he quieted down, Sunny rested his front paws on my right leg and put his head on top of them. We stayed like that until my parents came home: just a girl, her dog, and a moment of comfort within the chaos.

My mom has read this anecdote now, and I’m sure she isn’t happy that I let Sunny up onto the couch. But in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t matter. We lost our Little Love, as I often called him, this past summer; his diabetes got worse and his kidneys gave out. My family was amazed he survived the move, let alone almost a year after that. Still, it was moments like this one that remind me why he truly was the Sunshine of my life.

Cover Image Credit: Emma Saska

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.


So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?



Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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I Will Always Call Myself A Dreamer

The new thing you should practice: reading the vibrations that surround you.


In "The Science That Will Change Your Future", Dr. Bruce Lipton talks about how everything in life communicates through vibrations. We can simplify everything, even to the atomic level, to good and bad vibes. Before you snort at the person who says you're giving off bad vibes, maybe consider this first. Dr. Lipton talks about how the gazelle doesn't go up to the lion and asks, "Are you my friend?", instead the gazelle can feel its bad vibes. How can the gazelle do this?

Vibrations do one of two things when they interfere with each other: mesh or clash. Good vibes are vibrations that mesh together. Bad vibes are vibrations that clash. The gazelle can sense its energy clashing with the energy of the lion (he terms this as destructive interference).

Dr. Lipton talks about how we are trained to not sense these vibrations. We see animals do it! Some people will tell you that cats just don't like them, for whatever reason. I have had many friends who said that if their dog didn't like you, then you probably aren't a good person.

Animals base everything off of their intuition to these vibrations; it is their key to survival. Everyone knows that dogs and cats can't see color. But have you ever really watched your pet? How their eyes dart around the room, or they growl at nothing? They are seeing things we aren't able to see. They are sensing vibrations in the room that we are not capable to sense.

What does any of this have to do with classifying yourself as a dreamer?

Those who are classified as dreamers are mainly those who pursue careers dealing with their artistic abilities. Having artistic abilities means you are more in-tune with not only your emotions but the emotions in the space around you. You are more perceptive of others and your surroundings. Thus, you are more in-tune with the vibrations that your art comes from. Your brain makes a neural connection between an emotion (a vibration), and what you produce (your art).

If you are a dreamer, you are unrealistic. You are perceived as driftwood; floating on idealism. If you are stiff and follow a designated path, you are practical and considered a "realist."

But who is more real? The one who ignores the vibrations in their environment; the businessman guiding the Caterpillars? Or the dreamer, who not only recognizes the vibes, but is able to portray them in a way that others can not only comprehend, but feel in their own ways?

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