Before getting a dog, here's what you need to know

When You Give A Pup A Person...

Dog ownership isn't all fun and games, but with the responsibilities come a whole 'lotta love.

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Our family just recently welcomed its newest member and her name is Luna. She's 50% corgi, 50% dachshund, and 100% adorable. I'll tell you, when you welcome a new canine friend into your life, be prepared for all of the love and attention you could want. When you give a pup a person, you should be giving them a new life-long friend, and you need to be ready for that sort of emotional commitment.


The wrinkliest (and cutest) member of our family: Ms Luna Dune Abby Shores


One of the biggest mistakes pet owners make is getting a puppy and expecting to stay the same their entire life. It's not about what your dog baby looks like, it's about how much they love you and your ability to give them a new loving environment to live their life in. Your puppy won't always be pocket-sized, but it will always have a place for you in its heart so you should be ready for the same thing.

Another thing that I think a lot of people don't realize they're getting into when they adopt a new pet is that there will be some trial and error involved. Right now, Luna isn't 100% house-trained and my sister's and I have to take turns cleaning up the occasional accident. Yeah, it's not super fun, but that's just part of bringing a new animal into your life, especially if they're new to the world in general. Dogs also have a tendency to chew on things, so you might need to hide your cords for a little while. It's a sacrifice, but it's a sacrifice that I know I'm willing to make for any canine baby I'm going to bring home with me.

Now I don't want this to seem like pet ownership is all responsibility, because it's not. You'll definitely have fun with your pet, but just know that it's not always fun and games. There are far too many animals in shelters and on the street because their owner wasn't thinking about what they were getting into. But pet ownership is truly rewarding. There's nothing like coming home to your doggo after a long day and seeing their face light up when you walk in the door. There's a reason they say that dogs are man's best friend. Companionship is what they love, and you can look forward to loving them right back.

To wrap things up, there's one more thing I should warn you about before you bring home your next furry friend. This little (or big) guy isn't going to hold back on the love. If you're looking for a pet that's going to look cute and want nothing to do with you, get a cat. But if you give a pup a new person, it's going to be licks and lapdogs (no matter their size) for the foreseeable future. I hope you're prepared for cuddles and sniffs and affection galore because if you give a pup a person, to them, that's what a person is for.

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Top 10 Cutest Dog Breeds

These mushy little friends are too adorable for us!
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1. Yorkshire Terriers

Look at this cutie. Is it the eyes or the fur color, or both? We're not sure, but imagine trying to say no to a face like this!

2. Pomeranian Puppies

If you wanted a walking marshmallow, now is your chance! This fluff ball will snuggle up with you and blend in with every white pillow in this house.

3. Puggles

Pug + Beagle. Puggles. Enough said.

4. Lakeland Terrier Puppies

Seriously though, how could you choose just one?

5. Bolognese Puppies

You thought bolognese was just a type of pasta, but nope! It's also the breed of this adorable little mixed pup! Just don't actually give this mush Dr Pepper!

6. Golden Retriever

Just imagine these little paws running around the house in a bowtie or jumping on your legs after you come home from a long day.

7. Shar Pei Puppies

Whoever said rolls aren't cute was obviously lying.

8. Pug Puppies

The epitome of "puppy dog eyes" has arrived.


9. Poochon

This Bichon Poodle crossbreed cannot get any cuter. With soft, silky hair, this little one loves to cuddle.

10. Teddy Bear Pomeranian

Will he blend in with your stuffed animals? Probably! Just another reason to love this adorable and fluffy teddy bear.

Cover Image Credit: My Sweet Puppy

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To My Rescue Dog, Thank You For Teaching Me A Lesson In Unconditional Love And Strength

Your perseverance taught me I can get through anything with love.

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To my rescue dog Xena,

When I first heard of you, I had no idea you were going to pop into my life. I fought long and hard to get Mom and Dad to let me have your brother, Bolt, and after five years of having him, I did not expect them to want to welcome in another furry friend. I hardly expected them to want to do so as a major hurricane that had just destroyed Puerto Rico barreled its way here, but they did.

Mom called me and told me you existed as I was about to come home. Here, I thought classes finally being canceled was going to be the best news I got all day. She sent me a picture of you in your crate and I did not even have to hear the rest. I knew I wanted to have you. Even if I had to force Bolt to learn to share and be nice, I knew you were mine.

Mom knew too and, after asking me if I was sure I wanted you—can you believe she had to ask?—we set off to bring you home. Bags packed, I met you an hour from home at some shady restaurant in the middle of Melrose. You were tinier than I expected and far skinnier than Bolt, but you wagged your tail at me and even jumped up to give me a kiss without any hesitation, and I fell for you.

I had no idea what you had been through leading up to that moment. They told us you were rescued from Hurricane Harvey only two weeks before, but that was all I knew. I had no clue your foster home had been flooded and that you were forced to float on a couch cushion to stay alive. I had no idea that you were covered in mud when they found you. All I knew when I got to hold you for the first time was that you were a very sweet girl who immediately showed me love.

What the wonders of unconditional love can show you.

You should have seen all of our faces when you first met Bolt. You were too busy sniffing him and already showing him you were the alpha dog to notice, but we were smitten by you. I felt my heart grow full knowing you were getting along with him. I felt utter joy knowing you were allowing us to give you a permanent home.

I was worried though about our future. About your future. We were not in the direct path of Hurricane Irma at the time, but I knew Irma was coming, and I was scared of how you would react. I saw you begin to tremble as it started to rain, and I noticed you begin to follow us around more skittishly than before. You probably thought Bolt was dumb for lounging around like normal. You also probably thought we were ridiculous for trying to get you to go out before things got bad.

That night when things did get bad, I will never forget the lesson you taught me. As I sat in bed, I watched as the path of Irma changed and put us right in the middle of a Category 2 storm and became afraid. I heard the wind start to pick up and I saw the lights flicker and soon go out, and I was terrified. This was the worst storm I was ever going to face. Even as an adult, I felt like crying.

But, then I looked at you. I saw you curled at my side, licking my arm, pawing at me to keep petting you, and I realized something. If a little dog like you could weather a massive hurricane like Harvey, I could get through this storm, too. Even though the wind sounded like a freight train and some trees in our neighborhood fell, you gave me the courage to get through it, Xena. You showed that you can weather any storm and find the happy ending after it if you just keep your strength and march on.

You also showed me, through completely trusting me to keep you safe during Irma, the power of unconditional love. You had known me for only twenty-four hours at the time, and you had just survived probably the scariest event of your life, yet you believed I would not let anything hurt you. You loved me. You blindly trusted I would protect you even when nature did its worst, and I will never forget that.

Bolt (tan) and Xena (black and tan) the day after Hurricane Irma hit Florida. Photo Credit: Laurel Swiderski

I remember it every time I see you now, whether it is at home bothering Bolt or in the picture frame on my apartment desk. You had the strength and love inside you to weather two storms no dog should have to endure alone and came out just fine. If you can do it, my warrior princess of hurricanes, so can I.

So can we all.

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