An Open Letter to My Dead Dog

An Open Letter to My Dead Dog


Hi Baby,

I know you were old, but you’ll always be my little furry baby dog. Even as you became deaf, as you struggled more when you walked, and every time it was beyond obvious that you were getting old, I saw you as my little cutie who would never go away.

I remember when we first got you and I was so surprised to have a dog- but I never could have guessed how much of an impact you’ve had on my life. I remember seeing you laying in my den, holding on to your Cookie Monster blanket for dear life. I remember getting to know and love you right away, never thinking of the day that you wouldn't be there anymore. I remember fourteen years of walks,passing you pizza crusts, giving you new chew toys that you just loved, and how you licked your way into the hearts of every member of my family. You grew up with me through elementary school, still loved me in my awkward middle school days, gave me wet kisses as I graduated high school, and I looked forward to seeing you at the front door every time I came home from college. I remember coming home from break one day, asking where you were, and my mom responded that you were gone.

Every time I drive up to the house, I think I see your face at the window like it always was when a car came up, but then I remember you aren't there anymore. Any time a pet store commercial comes on, I'm reminded that I can't spoil you with a new bone or chew toy or even some peanut butter on bread. When I was sad I would hug you, but now when I think about that I remember you're gone and I can't hug you anymore, which makes me cry every time. There's so many things that remind me of you, and so many things that make me think of the times you've made me smile and laugh.

Dogs are beloved and mourned as much as they are because they're so happy all the time. Their love is unconditional, and they attach to the humans that they keep (who are we kidding, we don't own the dog- the dog owns us). You may not have been special or famous on the internet or anywhere else, but you were and still are special to me and to my whole family.

I miss you every day, but I'm glad you didn't die in pain. I would rather have you die calm and loved than yelping and crying every time you tried to sit up. We think about you all the time, and no dog will ever be the same as you.

I love you baby, and I'll never forget you.

Kisses and treats,

Your human

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Well Known (But Unknown) Cat Breeds

Three common cat breeds that you don't know the names of.

There are about forty different breeds of cats (with some variations between organizations leading to different counts), and we are all familiar by sight of many more breeds than we realize. However, I’ve noticed that, and this includes myself, most people don’t seem to have a clue as to names, while most people know at least five or six dog breeds off of the top of their heads. I want to rectify this by providing information about some of the more common cat breeds that you probably have seen lurking near dumpsters, in bushes, gathered at windows, or maybe even a member of your family.

The first is easily the most common breed: the domestic shorthair. Their hair, as their apt name suggests, is very short, but they certainly are no strangers to shredding. Like most cats, they live about fifteen to twenty years and, thankfully, they do not experience many health problems that can be genetically linked. They are generally friendly to both children and cat-friendly dogs, and are adept hunters, so it is recommended that they be kept as indoor cats to prevent damage to the local bird and rodent populations, but also for their own protection against dogs and other dangerous animals and diseases.

Their indoor life, contrary to some people’s beliefs, is not damaging to their mental health (or physical health, for that matter) if they are kept busy with daily play with interactive cat toys and plenty of attention. It is recommended that the litter box is kept clean daily, but it is an easy task, and otherwise you might experience an angered cat relieving themselves in other corners of the house you’d rather them not.

The second breed I want to introduce is the Maine Coon, a furry cat that can reach up to eighteen pounds, the size of a small dog. They don’t reach this size until three or five years, unlike the domestic shorthairs, and they also live about five to six years less than their domestic shorthair counterparts. Their personalities tend to differ slightly, as they aren’t known to be lap cats, but they are absolutely loyal. They also tend to be quiet, and, unless introduced to strangers from an early age, might have a more difficult time adapting to new people and animals in their life.

They are mousers, meaning they specialize in mouse hunting, meaning that they prefer ground level, but they are certainly capable of climbing as much as any other cat. Health problems do occur genetically in this breed, including hip dysplasia, spinal muscular atrophy, heart disease, and kidney disease. With regular grooming, the Maine Coon’s coat will not mat, especially due to its silky texture. Even as indoor cats, a bath once in a while might be required, especially if you aren’t diligent about cleaning any feces or other substances that get stuck in their fur.

The third breed is the Persian cat, one of the few breeds known by both sight and name by most people. They are known as very “high class” cats, partly due to their prohibitive price. They weigh about seven to twelve pounds, relatively light to average, and are long-haired, which, much like the Maine Coon, means that grooming will be a necessity. These cats are extremely stoic, preferring a serene environment free from loud noises and constant rapid activity. They also generally prefer ground level, but definitely jump on accessible furniture.

However, due to their snub-nose, they can experience breathing problems. Since they are mixed-breed, they also have other genetic health problems like predispositions to skin infections, ringworm, hip dysplasia, and kidney disease. Excessive tearing is a problem, so besides brushing and periodic baths, it is recommended that you gently wipe their eyes when crust begins to appear. Calm children and dogs won’t bother these cats, but, again, it is wise to prevent a hectic household so as to maintain optimal mental health for these cats.

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I've Held My Tongue Long Enough, It's Time To Address The Problem That Is Air Conditioning In The South

What’s the point of owning a fridge when your dorm room is a balmy 58 degrees?

I am always cold. Not just chilly, but actually freezing cold. You’d think that as a Wisconsinite I’d be able to handle a little bit of chilliness in Alabama, but sadly the south is even colder than Wisconsin. Ok— hear me out.

In Wisconsin, everyone dresses seasonally appropriate for the winter. No one thinks twice about wearing a parka when it’s 35 degrees or below (usually below). In Alabama, no one owns a coat, much less a parka. You can’t prepare for the cold in Alabama because it’s 85 degrees one week and 45 the next and trust me, 45 degrees is cold when you were lying out by the pool two days earlier.

Anyways, it’s not the weather I want to address with y’all... it’s your ridiculous air conditioning.

I've held my tongue for the past four years, but seriously, why is the air conditioning always the temperature of a refrigerator? What’s the point of owning a fridge when your dorm room is a balmy 58 degrees?

But really, let’s all just agree to keep the air conditioning at 70 or above. It doesn’t matter if it’s scorching outside, 70 is still a good air conditioning temperature.

If it’s 38 degrees outside, it’s ok to use heat. Turning the air on 72 won’t fix anything. Spoiler alert, putting your air on 72 when it’s 38 degrees will only make your house colder. Turn your heat on 72.

I’m sorry for the rant, but this is something that just needed to be said. I don’t think we should have to bring our winter coats to class when it’s hot outside just because the air conditioning is giving us hypothermia. Let’s just agree to set the air at a reasonable temperature.



Every Cold Natured Person Living In The South

Cover Image Credit: Madison Linnihan

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