Everyone has an off day here and there. When my day is really going down the pooper, there are only 3 things that can 100% relieve me from my funk: 1. Eating delicious food, 2. Exercising, or 3. Snuggling (or playing) with a puppy. Don’t act like you don’t get the urge to cuddle with an adorable little puppy every once in a while (or like me, all the time). It’s even been proven that petting a dog will decrease your blood pressure and relieve anxiety, which is why dog therapy is so successful. I mean, let’s be real, who could resist a face like this:
Oops, wrong picture. How did that get there? (For those wondering who that cutie patoot is, it’s my bf, E. For his lack of cuteness now that he’s 27, he makes up for in burly handsomeness.)
Now that’s the face I was talking about. It’s like he’s telepathically telling you that he wants to snuggle. That is a picture of my 11-month old lab mix, Dexter. Yes, he’s named after America’s favorite serial killer, but don’t be dismayed, this guy doesn’t have a dark passenger. In fact, he’s accumulated a reputation at the dog park for being one of the sweetest pups out there. He’s notorious for giving other dogs kisses and is known to spontaneously lick faces.
E & I decided it was time to get a dog late last September. It had been about 5 months since my move down to Miami and although I had become more comfortable with the change, it still didn’t feel like home. Although I lived with E and started working right away, I still felt like a transplant. Nothing about the space I lived in, the car I drove, or the stuff I used truly felt like mine. E had been wanting a dog for quite some time, and it wasn’t until September that I jumped on board. He specifically wanted a chocolate lab, but we were opposed to buying one from a breeder. It’s hard to see the point of spending hundreds-thousands of dollars on buying from a breeder when there are so many dogs out there who need to be adopted. Not to mention that when you adopt from a shelter, they typically cover all of the fees for neutering, the microchip, and the first year of booster shots and veterinary check-ups. One Sunday, we decided to take a look at the puppies up for adoption at Friends Forever Humane Society. As I’m sure all of you know, one cannot just go and “take a look” at puppies, especially when you’re already teetering on the idea of actually owning one. And alas, that’s when we laid eyes on this little guy…
He was the fluffiest one of the bunch, and definitely the most mellow. I was hooked as soon as they put him in my arms. However, E and I had decided earlier that we weren’t going to take any drastic measures that day, and that we would think about it overnight. We even stopped by the Humane Society to give other puppies a chance, but it only rectified our longing for the cute black fur-ball we had seen prior. After spending a night coming up with dog names and considering leash colors, we knew we had to go back. Thereafter, Dexter became a pivotal member of our charming little family.
I can’t imagine what my life would be like now without a dog. Not only am I taking more advantage of being outdoors, but we’ve met such a great network of fellow dog owners in our area that we otherwise would have probably never had the pleasure of meeting, had it not been for Dexter. Of course, there are the downsides of being a dog owner as well, such as having less free time and seeing a drastic increase in the rate of vacuuming done each week. But in the end, adopting a dog was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Because of him, I feel more at home. If you are already on the verge, I ask you to 7. Invest in a canine companion. Allergic? Look into hypoallergenic breeds, like a labradoodle! Not up for the task? Donate to local shelters and help sustain them until the right owner comes around. Ready to take the leap? Consider adopting over buying from a breeder. It’ll make you feel even better knowing that you saved your dog from a potentially negative situation. Not quite convinced? Check out some of my favorite captured moments with baby Dex.
Dexter (kisses & licks)