Oreo, The Best Pup

Oreo, The Best Pup

"Dogs are not our whole world but they make our lives whole"

A few years ago I got a call that broke my heart. I remember to this day exactly where I was. I was sitting in a booth next to a window right by the door at a restaurant called Toast in Charleston, SC. My best friend called me to tell me that her families pride a joy, Oreo had passed away. Oreo was their Boston Terrier and the most unique, lovable pup ever.

I'll tell you a little bit about her. She was wild and energetic. She sounded like a pig, and she made the cutest most bizarre noises. She was funny and a character to say the least. Oreo was quirky and weird, and I never related to any dog more. Oreo and I shared a bond, at least I'd like to think that. She had a thing she did with her toys. She would carry it over to me in her mouth and press it up against my lips. We liked to call them bone kisses.

I had lost a dog before, but it was different this time (even though she wasn't my own). One was a shockingly tragic event, and the other was a long time coming, making it easier to accept. Oreo's passing was different. She was still young, and I had just visited her a few weeks prior. She seemed full of life and happier than ever. Her passing was heartbreaking and crushing. Those weird noises she used to make that would make us laugh was actually cancer. I first remember being at a loss for words, unable to comprehend the news. The doctor said she was very sick, but Oreo NEVER let anyone see it. With how bad the cancer was, Oreo was a frickin' warrior. She was, honest to God, an inspiration; she never let anyone know she was in pain. I know she was a dog, but dogs are family. We value a dog's opinion and trust their instincts. The fact that no one knew how much pain she was in is amazing; she was always so happy.

Once the information sunk in, I began shedding tears in that booth. I was utterly stunned and distraught over the news. Oreo wasn't even my dog, and yet, I was still mourning her. To this day, my friend and I talk about the times we had with Oreo, the funny things she would do and the ways she'd make us laugh. Although she was wild, she was the biggest cuddler of them all. She loved being loved, and she must have been aware when she made people laugh because I'm pretty sure she loved showing off to crack a smile even more. Oreo had one of the greatest personalities of any dog, ever. And, that is why she will never be forgotten.

If these pictures don't make you crack a smile followed with a chuckle, I don't think we can be friends.

Cover Image Credit: Sydney Friedman

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8 Truisms Of An Only-Child Childhood Everyone Else Should Know, Signed, An Only Child

But really.... do your parents actually have favorites?

As an only child, I feel it's important to give out a little PSA to correct all the stereotypes we sibling-less children have labeled on our backs.

1. We're not all spoiled

Like... yes, my parents gave me an iPhone. Five years after everyone else got one!! In fact, my parents made it their personal mission to avoid saying "yes" partly for their own satisfaction and partly to avoid raising the spoiled kid. Just because there's only one of us, doesn't mean our parents are gonna splurge their hard earned money on us.

2. It can get lonely

Mom and Dad have to work, the neighbor kids aren't always home, and back in the day, there wasn't Netflix and Snapchat to entertain us all day.

3. We used to worry about our kids not having aunts and uncles

This may sound silly but it was a legitimate concern. Who will spoil my kids since I will obviously refuse to? Will they have any cousins to play with? Will they have the large family gatherings I always wanted to have? That is a lot of pressure to put on your future spouse.

4. Vacations can be interesting

What's a girl to do when her parents want to sit on the condo patio, but she wants to go to the beach? It can be very hard to have back up in these situations, but they almost guarantee you to have excellent persuasive skills later on in life.

5. A lot of people in one place can overwhelm us

Yes, I want to be around people ALL the time. Yes, I also need my space because I was raised in a quiet household. Usually, we'll sneak into our rooms if a huge party is happening downstairs, it's just the way it's going to be.

6. Loud kids are scary but we want 6 of them.

Yes, other people's kids freak me out. Yes, I want a ton of them because first of all, if they are my kids they will be awesome and second of all, I gotta make up for my childhood.

7. We'll never understand what it is like to have more than 3 people living together in one house

How do fights work? Do you all eat dinner together? How often do you share things? Do you hang out as a family often? Do your parents really favorites, and how do you know? These are the questions we want to be answered!

8. And how can siblings fight one minute and be best friends the next?

This dynamic just makes zero sense. Can not compute. We will never understand, probably not even after we have kids of our own.

Cover Image Credit: Kate Alt

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Being The Oldest Child Is Both Liberating And Terrifying, But I Wouldn't Change It For The World

It has instilled in me the power to set an example for my brothers to follow.

As the oldest of three boys, I have often had to trailblaze a path for my brothers to follow. Every act that lead me to get in trouble, I was the first child to do so. I essentially laid the blueprint for my brothers on what to do and what not to do to get by our parents with ease. As the oldest, I have not had someone that I can confide with on “mature” and “adult” discussions, conundrums and debates. I have not had an individual that I can try and follow in their footsteps.

Personally, I have both enjoyed and had some levels of difficulty. It has dawned on me that not only am I acting for myself, but the actions I display are the ones that my younger brothers look up to and admire. Therefore I must display the best image of myself in order to ensure that they make the right decisions/actions during their development into adulthood.

Growing up as the firstborn has certainly had its perks.

The level of attention I receive is at times overwhelming from both my parents, especially going to a school several hundred miles away from them. They often check in on me, calling me at sporadic periods throughout the day to make sure I’ve gotten up and not missed my 8:30 a.m. class. This is nice and all, but at times it can be a bit much. You can agree with me, right?

At the same time, I am fully aware that my parents are doing it not to be annoying and at times embarrassing, but rather because it is scary sending your first child out into the world without a path to follow. Granted, my parents have both experienced great success in their lives and the path they have created for my family is certainly a bright one. However, they paved their path many years ago and unfortunately, the methods they used to cross this path may be somewhat obsolete for me.

At times, being the oldest is tough.

In terms of discipline, I certainly experienced it the hardest and with the most repercussions. Getting grounded was a common thing for me growing up, not necessarily because my actions were so juvenile, but rather because my parents were learning and adjusting their parenting styles. Now, my brothers rarely get grounded, for acts that would far surpass my mild middle-school phase. All and all I can live with it because, without my help, my brothers wouldn’t have learned the ropes on how to survive in our household.

At times it is liberating and at times it is terrifying, but being the oldest child is something I wouldn’t want to change. I learned how to go through life and grow up on my own accord, without having a big brother or sister there to guide me as I grew. It has allowed me to develop into the person I am today and has instilled in me the power of paving a path for success that one day my brothers will follow.

Cover Image Credit: Chase Gornbein

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