Never Underestimate the Power of Dog
Lifestyle

Never Underestimate the Power of Dog

The Lessons my dog taught me

18
Karen Grant

Anyone who knows me, even remotely, will tell you that I love dogs. I doubt that anyone other than my family and closest friends understand why I am quite so devoted to these creatures. The answer lies in the necklace that I always wear.

Ok, wait. This article has dog in it, but that is very clearly a wolf. Yes, I know. Wolves are my favorite wild animals and have been for a very long time. What matters more, is what is inside the necklace, ashes, of my beloved dog T.J.

Growing up, I was pretty lonely, until we got a dog. At first, I was scared of her, as she would run around the house like a maniac and steal my stuffed animals. After a while though, I realized that I had the closest thing that I would ever have to a sister.

Once junior high hit, I became more like the awkward potato that I am today. I struggled to fit in. T.J. was always there for me though, no matter what happened at school that day. Hell, she probably knew that I was gay long before I did. She didn't care though, because I was her person, and she was my sister.

As time went on, I began to struggle mentally more and more. Looking back, I know it was a culmination of some pretty intense stuff, but, at that time, it felt like the world was caving in around me.

It all became too much. At 15, I didn't want to live my life anymore. Something stopped me from taking it. I would be lying if I told you I knew exactly what it was. I remember sitting on the ground, sobbing, wondering how I would explain things to my parents. They loved me and I loved them and I didn't want them to blame themselves for something that I thought was all my fault. (At the time, I did not realize the role that brain chemistry plays in depression.)

T.J. came bounding around the corner, climbing into my lap, trying to kiss away the tears. This dog did not cuddle, but she knew. The look in her eyes was one I will never forget for the rest of my life. She loved me no matter what. The dogs at the shelter where I had been volunteering loved me no matter what others (or myself) thought was wrong with me.

Looking back now, as a stressed out college junior, I realize that my attachment to T.J. surpasses that of any owner-animal bond. She saved my life that day. She reminded me that, no matter how messy things got with humans, dogs would love me, as I had nothing but love for them. Somehow, (probably with help from dogs from the shelter) she got that message through my thick, stubborn skull and helped me start on a better path.

Whenever my depression rears it's ugly head, I remember the look in her eye on that day. I remember the look in the eyes of the shelter dogs when they realize that this awkward potato of a human is only here to rub their belly, and not hurt them.

My dedication to these creatures comes from the dedication that one had to me during my darkest moments. I can never thank T.J. enough for what she did. She probably is too busy snacking on anything and everything to care.

Instead, I hope to honor her and make her proud, by showing dogs the same compassion, dedication, and determination that she showed me. I think that one of the best lessons she ever taught me though, is to never EVER underestimate the power of dog.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Health and Wellness

This Survey Shows How Quarantine And Drinking Relate, And I Can't Say I'm Surprised

"5 o'clock somewhere" is more of a guideline now than ever.

As it stands, and my friends and I are finally 21. We're extremely excited to be able to go out to bars and "get lit" as the kids say, but due to the pandemic, all of our plans have been put on hold. We'd rather wait and go when it's safe than risk spreading the infection and hurting our loved ones. So, we've all been quarantining apart, getting on the occasional wine zoom call. This made me wonder if anyone else our age were doing the same thing.

Then, I discovered this survey: We Surveyed Millennials And Gen Z About Their Quarantine Drinking Habits — Cheers. Here are 3 things that I discovered through the survey results.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

5 Easy Summer Mocktail Recipes You Can Make With Items You Probably Already Have On-Hand

Keep these drinks in mind next time you're visiting your local farmer's market — you might want to grab some extra mint and limes.

With Summer 2020 in full swing comes the addition of many fresh fruits and vegetables to brighten up your dinner plate, but also your glass! Farmers markets are my personal favorite place to look for produce that is in season to make fun mocktails with.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

5 Ways To Celebrate The 4th of July — Without Fireworks Or Social Gatherings

We created a list of things to do since social distancing may create a dent in our typical, planned traditions.

With the Fourth of July on Saturday, the usual tradition of popping fireworks, grilling out, and being surrounded by family has been modified due to the pandemic. Whether you're a loner or surrounded by family, there will most likely be some changes to your celebrations.

For weeks on social media, people across the country have been complaining that they have been subjected to fireworks going off at all times of the night into the early morning. This has sparked concern and questions about why this is happening and how are people even obtaining the fireworks.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

Carb And Cheese Lovers, Unite — These Are The Best Mac And Cheese Recipes On The Internet

Whether you need to get through the current pandemic or want to spice up your Fourth of July celebrations, these mac and cheese recipes will do just that.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BxIKdnMHcGr/

My favorite food is mac and cheese, and it always has been. All it requires is noodles and cheese — it's so simple to make. Although it's my favorite, it can also get kind of mundane because it's such a simple recipe. This, of course, has led to many people all over the world experimenting with the American staple.

With our lives currently being turned upside down due to the pandemic, a lot of people are seeking comfort. These are scary times, and in order to make it day-to-day, we need to have our favorite foods as a standby. These recipes can also be used during your celebration of the Fourth of July.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

17 Things To Make You Feel GOOD This Week

Because some purchases are just necessary.

Y'all, we're struggling. You don't even have to tell me, I know. What a mess we're all in, right? This year is not going how we planned and the world has turned into one giant struggle bus. I guess you could be super philosophical about everything happening for a reason, but sometimes life is just hard.

There are plenty of ways to bring yourself out of whatever rut you're in. You could go for a run, have a snack, or read a book. Or, if you're really looking for an adrenaline rush, go shopping. This is obviously not going to solve the world's problems with one swift click of the "checkout" button, but hey, it may just give you the little boost you need today.

Keep Reading... Show less

- Blissfully unaware that butt-care beyond squats was even something I should be considering in my self-care routine, I tried one of Bawdy Beauty's butt masks for the first time a month ago.

- I've never really given my butt a second though till I took a look at improvements that could be made with the mask — if one of the hydrating, firming, detoxifying, or brightening masks in the kit I received could either smooth out cellulite or tone my skin a bit more, I wasn't going to complain.

- Each Bawdy Beauty sheet mask comes in an individually-packaged sheet, soaked with a serum I massaged into my skin after removing said sheet. The clay butt mask comes in a convenient stick format I simply draw on to my skin and leave to set for about 10 minutes before hopping into the shower.

- I set a goal of committing myself to butt-care every day for one month. Between the regular use of sheet masks, clay masks, and their CBD Butt Balm in between, I didn't have many expectations.

- I thought the whole concept may just be a gimmick, but my butt has never looked so toned in my life, and the cellulite I had is almost completely gone. I wear one every single day when I get the chance.

I'm incredibly skeptical when it comes to marketing ploys and gimmicks in the beauty world. I'll be the first cynic to try out the latest serum on the market every influencer is raving about just to negate every grandiose claim it makes.

Keep Reading... Show less

Friends, you don't have to be quarantined to use a personal massager, you know? Because, sure, quarantine made for a lot of extra quality time with yourself, but no matter what phase of the reopening process you're in, it's normal and actually healthy to take care of your sexual needs on your own.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

5 Books I Didn't Realize Are About Gay Women

If you read primarily LGBTQ fiction, then this list might help to expand your TBR list.

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

Frequent readers of LGBTQ fiction might feel like they're reading the same book over and over again, with few exceptions.

Most of these books were on my TBR list for months and I didn't realize they were about gay women until I was reading them, hopefully, this list of books can interest you in expanding your reading material and seeking out different stories.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments