How Having A Pet Changed My Life

How Having A Pet Changed My Life

My dogs are my best friends.

Whether it be a fish, bird, cat or turtle or maybe even all of the above, pets are a part of the family. I got my first pet when I was like five and she was a dog. She was my best friend (and still is). I don't have a preference as to what kind of pet I like the most but if I could I would take all the pets from the shelters and keep them as my own. One of the reasons I got a dog was because I had begged and begged my parents to get me one.

I love my pets, some more than others (but they don't need to know that). I've lived at least 10 years with some sort of animal companion. I share a special bond with my animals more than I do with humans. My favorite would have to be my four year old Husky, German Shepherd mix. He is the biggest baby you could ever meet. He may get on my nerves but I love him to pieces.

My family and I got him on April sixth, 2012. He was born the day one of my good friends was hit by a car and killed. He was actually the girl’s dog. He was the only all white one in the bunch and I picked him. He was a big fluff ball when we finally were able to bring him home. He's changed my life in so many positive ways.

He has been there for me through everything. From cuddling, eating goldfish and watching movies to crying and telling him how my day was. When I moved to college, he was the only one I truly missed. He also greets me with the biggest smile and plays fetch (more like I throw it and he just lays down and chews the toy). When everyone else fails, he is always there to dry my tears, by licking them off my face of course.

I couldn't picture my life without my big baby boy, and he is so very special to me. He gets me more than a lot of humans do. He also made me truly realize what I wanted to do in life, be a Veterinarian. He lets me look at his teeth, clean him, cut his toe nails and loves when I brush him. He even likes having bandannas around his neck.

He is also very protective. He knows when someone is trying to hurt my family and I. He barks to let that person know he means business. Unfortunately, as soon as you pet him, it won't stop wanting the attention. He listens well and does what he is told. He gets treats, table scraps and even burps when he is done eating or drinking.

He'll be my forever fur baby even when he is gone, but for now I'll enjoy him while he is still here. Pets might get annoying or get on your last nerve but it will be all worth it when they cuddle up next to you, or give you kisses or just look at you with their puppy dog eyes.

Cover Image Credit: Marissa Douglas

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.

7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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The Old Oak Tree

A short poem about returning to one's childhood home.


Looming over the burned-out house is an oak tree,

Hundreds of years old at least.

The smell of smoke is gone, but skeleton of the house remains,

A mere speck when compared to the tree.

Whose branches reach out to me like hands,

Begging for me to come closer.

I do.

I sit under the tree like I did when I was young.

The ground is damp from the rain,

I feel the sogginess soaking through my jeans.

I remain.

It is cooler under the branches,

A limitless amount of leaves shades me from the daylight.

I stay there. All day.

Staring at the charred remains of my childhood home.

I stay there until fog begins to form in the crisp night air,

Cold and sharp against my cheeks.

No longer able to withstand the cold, I take my leave looking back once more.

It's nice to know that even when I'm gone,

The old oak tree remains.

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