Letter to my Dog

An Open Letter To My Best Four-Legged Friend

Furever loved and furever remembered.


Dear Rustle, also known as Rustlypoo, Rustlypoobear, and even Rustlypoobearupintheair,

The moment you stepped into my home during the summer of my 5th-grade year, I was immediately in love. You were already considered a Senior dog, although I disagree that 10-years-old is anything near old. You sat right beside me and begged for my hand to never leave your belly and your head. You resembled a piece of fried chicken and the moment I made that comparison, I knew you'd be a part of our family forever.

I know you were sad the minute your previous owner left the house. You waited for weeks and months at the front door for her return. But that didn't stop you from playfully pulling my little brother around the house as he gripped on a towel or blanket. You still played hide-and-go-seek with me even though you found me within 5 seconds every single time. You still waited for the evil mailman to step onto your territory and still scanned the house for potential threats...like those damn squirrels. You didn't let your sadness get in the way of adjusting to a new family. Because of that, you fit yourself right into the spot in our family tree that was waiting for you this whole time

You walked me all the way to school and picked me up. You attended all my volleyball and soccer games even if we lost every single time. You never left my side when I was sad or upset. You knew when I was hiding away from everyone and made sure I wasn't alone during the process. When I had a 104-degree fever while I was home alone, you didn't even get up to eat or drink water for the whole day. We took you on all possible family trips and vacations. From Yosemite to Las Vegas, you were always there by our side. You just love being around people especially around your favorite humans. You'd stay by my side while I was doing my homework or panicking for yet another exam. You'd scoot my arm with your nose as if to let me know that everything will be okay. You were there in all of our Christmas family pictures and you were the star of all my Facebook and Instagram posts. You made sure you were heard during Breakfast, Lunch, AND Dinner and always reminded my brother when he was even 10 minutes late to your feeding time (6:00 pm SHARP). You moved with us throughout every house we lived in, and that is part of the reason why our house turned into a home

I am sorry for all the times I forgot to pat your head before I left to school or if I complained when you would want to pee in at 4:30 am in the morning. I'm sorry I couldn't be home more and I'm sorry I let my dramatic and meaningless problems get in the way of ever spending more time with you. I'm sorry for all the times Pokey and Rocky annoyed or disturbed you.

Even though your times with us, from my 5th-grade year to my third year in college is a long time, I always feel like our time fell short. However, you lived 23 long and strong years. When we pulled up to the hospital on April 7th, 10 am, you passed peacefully right near the house where we first got you. It was as if you didn't want to have me make the difficult choice that all pet owners have contemplated. I scratched your chin and patted your head one last time after you took your final breath.

Thank you for cuddling with me every night. Thank you for staying in my room even though it's inconveniently far from the water bowl. Thank you for protecting our family. Thank you for making me feel better when nobody else could, you are the ultimate example of how sometimes presence can heal better than words.

Your presence still lingers within this family. No matter how many houses we move to, you are forever in our lives and you will forever be remembered. You will always be my best friend.

Yosemite Justine Ramos

Las Vegas Justine Ramos

Lake Perris Justine Ramos

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10 Things I Hope My Little Sister Knows

Love you, little sis.


Hey little one,

First of all, thank you. Thank you for laughing at my cheesy jokes, for singing your heart out in the car with me, and for never failing to make me smile. I have loved you for your whole life, and, as your big sister, I hope I was able to teach you a few things, to let you in on a few secrets. This is to you. Here are a few things I hope you know and don't ever forget.

1.You are so, so incredibly loved.

Mom and dad love you more than you know, I love you like you wouldn't believe, and you have a God in Heaven who loves you more than you could ever possibly imagine. No matter what, you are always and forever loved. You have so much adoration and support surrounding you, please don't ever be afraid to fall.

2. I love you, but stop getting taller.

You are my little sister. People are starting to think it's the other way around. I can't introduce you as my “little" sister if you're taller than me.

SEE ALSO: Being The Older Sister: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

3. Learn from my mistakes.

It is no secret that I am far from perfect. I have made mistakes, and I pray that I am always brave enough to share them with you, so that you can learn from them. I hope that you can see my mistakes as stepping stones, placed out over the mess, that you might bypass some of the obstacles I've had to face.

4. He's cute. But you are still way too young.

I don't care if you're 15 now, you will always be my baby sis. I'm not sure exactly how long it will take for me to be OK with you having a boyfriend, but today is definitely not that day.

5. I get jealous of you. All. The. Time.

You're an awesome athlete, and I am so proud of you. But so help me if you break another one of my school records.

6. You will always have me in your corner.

I will always be your biggest advocate, and I won't ever let you stand alone. I will stand up for you until the end of time. Never doubt that I am on your side.

7. You are exceptionally good at irritating me.

You know every single pet peeve of mine, and you know the perfect ways to drive me crazy. But you are also exceptionally good at making me laugh.

8. You are beautiful.

Please, please, please hear me when I say this: You are gorgeous. You are fearfully and wonderfully made, and your smile and spark light up a room. You will hear things that will hurt, and you will be told lies designed to break you down. Please try your hardest not to ever listen to the pressures of today. Your uniqueness makes you special. You are you, and that is beautiful.

SEE ALSO: What It's Like Living In The Shadow Of A Successful Older Sibling

9. I am always, no matter what, without a shadow of a doubt, here for you.

I may be away from home now, but I will never stop being on-call for you. Call me at 3 a.m., text me in the middle of the day. Come to me with your fears and with your hopes. Come to me in your happiest moments, so that I can laugh with you, and come to me in your saddest moments so that I might wipe your tears away. I will never stop standing behind you with open arms.

10. Even when I don't say it, I love you more than anything.

Sometimes we argue. Sometimes we don't get along, and sometimes I am not the sister you deserve. But please know that I love you more than anything. You inspire me constantly, I couldn't possibly be more proud. I love you little sis.

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9 Things You Hear Growing Up As An Only Child

No, I don't get lonely.


Having no siblings definitely has its ups and downs, but I wouldn't have it any other way! Most people jump to the conclusion that you're spoiled or were an accident since your parents didn't have other kids, but being an only child is actually amazing. While my parents didn't give me every single thing I wanted, they taught me lots and I did earn everything I got.

1. Don't you get lonely?

Well, no, I do have friends. It also helped growing up when technology wasn't quite exactly where it is today. Everyone would play outside or with each other as opposed to behind a screen, and it kept everyone more connected. It also taught me that it's okay to spend time alone and it can actually be refreshing.

2. Do you wish you had siblings?

Occasionally growing up, the thought crossed my mind, but I never dreaded not having siblings.

3. Do you get everything you want?

Haha! Not even close!

4. You must be spoiled

With love, definitely. I might have gotten more than if I were to have a sister or brother, but my parents definitely taught me how to work for what I want.

5. Why didn't your parents want more kids?

When you do it right the first time, why would you need to have more? It just isn't what my parents wanted, but it worked out just fine.

6. Are your parents stricter since there are no other children to focus on?

I wouldn't say that fact alone makes a parent more or less strict. Yes, there were more eyes and focus on me, but my parents still allowed me to do things with friends and have freedoms.

7. What's it like being an only child?

I wouldn't consider it anything special. It was just how I grew up and I think I had a pretty good childhood.

8. You must not like to share

You're right, I don't. Who does? But it doesn't mean I can't or don't know how to.

9. Are you close with your parents?

Absolutely, and I love it!

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