If You Give A Family A Mastiff

If You Give a Family a Mastiff

They'll probably thank you endlessly.

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If you give a family a mastiff, they'll probably question their ability to care for, train, and love such a massive pet. And that is exactly the case for my family. When we adventured to NY to choose our first family dog, 7-year-old me couldn't help but shy away from the 250-pound beast that birthed the stuffed-animal like a puppy I could fit in my arms. Was our puppy going to get THAT big? Was our home going to turn into a scene from "The Sandlot"?

If you give a family a mastiff, they'll probably learn to keep all food, and actually all edible objects (and mind you that in the mind of a mastiff, everything is considered edible), as high from the ground as possible. We learned this the hard way, after coming home from the grocery store and wondering where the loaf of bread, desperately needed for school lunches, had disappeared to; until an hour later when we found it ... in a pile of unmentionables in the yard. And it didn't stop at bread. Halloween had arrived, and after learning our lesson, the candy was immediately tucked securely away in a kitchen cabinet ... or so we thought. Our sly little, well, actually not-so-little, the pup had jumped onto the counter, popped open the cabinet, eaten every piece of candy (wrapper and all), and left little tinfoil surprises throughout the yard to let us know just how smart he is.

If you give a family a mastiff, they'll probably feel well-protected, despite their knowledge of how big of a baby a mastiff truly is. Anyone new to mastiff territory usually fears their size, their bark, and even their drool! And yet, we know that all a mastiff really wants is to feel included, whether that be squeezing on the couch while we watch a movie or making sure he's right in the middle of the bed while we sleep.

If you give a family a mastiff, they'll probably receive endless jaw-dropping stares and wide-eyed looks whenever they venture into public with their pet. Everyone wants to take a picture of our dog when we bring him to social events as if he's on display in a museum.

If you give a family a mastiff, they'll probably use the term 'gentle-giant' whenever describing their beast of a pet. Our mastiff mopes all day, only ever getting the slightest bit of energy when he waits patiently by the dinner table, ready to pounce on any crumb or scrap of fallen food. He enjoys belly rubs, long walks, and romantic dates with leftovers. He may be really big, but that just means he has a really big heart.

If you give a family a mastiff, they'll probably thank you endlessly. Our family wouldn't be the same without our slobbery, shedding, overly-sensitive giant who protects us, loves us, and eats all of our food. Dogs are truly man's best friends, but our mastiff is more than just a friend, he's a family member.

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Top 10 Cutest Cat Breeds

These cat breeds are super cute and underrated.
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It seems that the only breeds anyone can actually recognize are those of dogs, cats really don't get enough recognition. There is just as much of a variety of cat breeds as there are of dog breeds, almost anyway, and they deserve love and recognition as well. So, here are the top 10 cat breeds I've deemed as the absolute cutest!

1. Exotic Persian

Exotic Persian cats are one of the cutest breeds in my opinion. Theses are the squished faced cats. The cats that perpetually look grumpy and disappointed. They're also super high-maintenance and believe you're supposed to cater to their every whim. Which, to be fair, you are.

2. Scottish Fold

Scootish Folds are super adorable because they're very unique. They're ears fold over, making them always appear to be begging you for something. They also always look a little bit sad, which, of course, only makes you love them more.

3. Himalayan

Himalayan cats are just magnificent and so prestigious. These cats are fluffy, deserve the best, and expect nothing but the best.

4. British Shorthair

I'm not sure what it is about these cats that makes them so adorable, but my roommate has tried to describe them as "fat and sassy." - Delaney Pulice. She's not wrong. They're pretty chubby and look like they're just a little bit too good for you. In all honesty, what cat isn't too good for us?

5. Maine Coon

These cats are particularly wonderful because they can be giant. I mean, giant. These cats can grown into the sizes of large dogs, which, of course, if everything we could all ever ask for in a cat. Who wouldn't want a giant cat that could probably double as a pillow?

6. Persian

These cats are only a little bit different from Exotic Persians, but there's a difference. Persians tend to have less squished face than Exotics, but every cat is different. The one above is a Silver Persian. He had to eat his food off of a plate because his flat face couldn't fit in a cat food bowl.

7. Munchkin

These tiny little guys never really grow much. Their legs are perpetually short and stubby, making them the ideal cats, because, if you had a choice, wouldn't you want your cat to be either giant like a Maine Coon or tiny like a Munchkin cat? Of course you would.

8. Siberian

These cats are just generally beautiful. They have long, shiny, fluffy coats and are just pretty cats. Plus, they look super cuddly, like they might purr for hours if you brushed them.

9. British Longhair

Another just simply beautiful cat. When you see those posts online that say "This cat is prettier than I am," yeah, that's these cats. They have long, soft coats as well that they like to keep clean. And as all cats do, they look like they're just a little bit above us and we have to cater to them.

10. Ragdoll

Finally, we have Ragdoll cats. These cats look a bit like fluffier Siamese cats. Which, let's face it, Siamese cats aren't necessarily the cutest. However, if you just add a lot of fluff, because the fluffier the better, they become much cuter.

Cover Image Credit: Megan Branch

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To The Father Who Chose His Girlfriends Over His Children, I Wish You Well

After many moments spent in therapy, I don't resent you or hate you, I wish you well.

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I have written and rewritten this article a thousand times over and over and the words never really ever came out right.

As a kid, you have this image in your head of what you think the perfect life is supposed to be like. Usually somewhere along the lines of a nice two-story house, with two parents, that both love you and love each other, with a few siblings, some family vacations, etc. you get the point. Obviously, as you grow up, you realize not everything is going to be like this perfect image that is in your head.

As a kid, I thought you were a great dad.

You spent time with me, took me to the movies, out for dinner, on vacations, and other things that I thought you were doing specifically to be able to spend time with your daughter. Sure, you had your faults like any other dad but I always thought they were never deal breakers until they became a deal breaker.

When you and my mother split up, I believed that is was my mother's fault for tearing apart my perfect little family. She was the one that moved out and took us away from you so it had to be her fault. And you never let me believe it wasn't either.

When you first got a girlfriend right after you and mom split, I didn't think anything of it. I mean at that age, she just seemed like another sister to me.

At the age of fourteen, after you chose your eighth or so girlfriend over your own flesh and blood, that was the moment when it became a problem for me.

That was the moment when your unableness to function without another female in your life, really affected how I see the world.

I watched you yell at your daughter, the daughter that you chose to raise as your own by adoption, and tell her that if she chose to talk like that to your girlfriend, then she would leave. But I also chose to leave. However, I, unlike my sister, chose to never go back.

After that happened a lot of things made sense for why we did a lot of things as kids.

Your partners were the reason for just about everything we did. If we ever went to the movies, it was because they wanted to go. If we ever went out to eat, it was either because they didn't know how to cook or because they wanted to go. If we ever weren't allowed to come over for our every other weekend, it was because you had plans with them. If we ever went on vacation, it was because they told you to take them somewhere.

It was never about us and always about them.

As a kid, you don't care so much as to why you are doing things, but you are just grateful to be doing them. But as a young adult with their own developing mind, you start to care why you are doing things.

I realized that day that your kids would never be the first thing for you to consider, we would always be second to last.

After many moments spent in therapy, I don't resent you or hate you, I wish you well.

You are the reason the phrase, "but they're still family" has no meaning to me. That day was a giant lesson to me about how to carefully choose who I let accompany me in my life.

As a kid, I saw a man who constantly needed another woman to take care of him and who could not ever manage to be alone. I will say that is partially the reason that I choose to never need someone, and to live my life how I choose, and to never let the actions of someone else dictate my life.

I wish you well. You find no discomfort in the life you live and I doubt you ever will and that is OK because it is your life and not mine. I am not writing this for you to read it and change your life and find a new way of living. No, I am writing this as a child who was treated as the last option and who refuses to be treated as the last option again.

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