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My name is Stefanie. I was born on a Greek island but now I live in Tennessee. I am falling in love with minimalistic fashion and this is my life journey.

8 Reasons Why You Should be a Dog Parent

8 Reasons Why You Should be a Dog Parent

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A (wo)man's best friend will always be her dog. Diamonds too, maybe-but mostly her dog. I can't even begin to explain the difference Othello has made in my life. In my 4th year of college I began getting lonely and melancholic (more on that here). My roommate suggested I get a dog, and I was very apprehensive at first because I grew up with a dog phobia. I couldn't imagine me having to take care of someone. I was busy and somewhat afraid of the commitment. Just for fun though, I took a personality test in which I had to answer several questions to be matched with the perfect breed of dog. Sounds like online dating, I know. Anyway, I was matched with a Maltese. Cute, furry little puppies. I knew I wanted a baby that it can grow with me; I also knew that if for a single moment I felt afraid of this little creature this relationship wasn't going to work. I needed a dog that I could raise and trust.

One day my roommate was browsing through the internet and came across a picture of a small black cockapoo. I knew nothing about the breed, but according to google, this Crocker Spaniel poodle mix does not shed, and it has a long life span! That's all I read, and I got excited. I called, and in less than a week little Othello was sleeping on my shoulder. It all sounds very sweet, and I could technically finish this paragraph with "...and the rest is history" and let you enjoy these lovely pictures of him, but I would be lying if I didn't tell you that in less than a week of owning Othello I had a freak out moment and wanted to give him back. Commitment issues. I tried everything from returning him to the breeder to even selling him through Facebook. It was a tough week for both of us. He was trying to adjust to a new environment, and he was barely 7 weeks old. I kept looking at him and thinking "What the heck was I thinking." Then one day someone called me out on my immaturity. Someone reminded me that I made a commitment to him, and I can't just back down now. What kind of a person would I be if I rushed into something, and when the excitement ran out I tossed him aside? Looking back now almost 7 years I am grateful to that person. I wasn't at the time. That day I was mad. I thought to myself, "Who do they think they are to judge me? They don't know my reasonings." Then I sat on my bed and stared at this little fuzz ball sniffing around, and I asked my self, "What are my reasonings?" It didn't take me long to realize that I was just afraid to commit. What if I couldn't take care of him? What if I couldn't feed him? What if...what if...what if...I remember that moment when he jumped back on the bed and licked my face. The rest is history!

So here they are, 8 Reasons Why YOU should be a pet parent:

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>They will love you unconditionally: No matter how many times you scold them, or refuse to toss their bone, or don't give them their favorite treat, dogs will always love you, and they will always show it to you. Only if Othello could talk, he would tell you the amount of times he licked my tears when I was crying over exams or just a silly TV show, he can't tell the difference. For him, his human seemed sad.

>They are the best company: The reason why my roommate found Othello for me was because I was lonely, and I was having a hard time. Doggies are the best company. My husband, Daniel, can vouch for that since Othello was his best friend during my grad school days. He often jokes about how he saw Othello more than he saw me!

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>They will never judge you: It doesn't matter if you like Frank Sinatra or Justin Bieber, if you prefer caramel over chocolate or if you wear Hello Kitty PJ's in bed, doggies will never judge your taste. Othello, for example, use to dance with me every time "Strangers in the Night" came on Pandora. He covers his ears and runs out of the room though every time Daniel plays his guitar!

>They can calm anxiety and help you relax: At the beginning of this post I said how I can't even begin to tell you how Othello changed my life. I never suffered from anxiety, but I use to carry an emotional weight through my childhood and early adult life. I use to get angry easily and hold on to anger for a long time. Years after I got Othello, I realized that my personality was changing. I was calmer, and I wasn't allowing things to frustrate me anymore. It is no secret that dogs are used to help with anxiety attacks, so if you feel emotionally vulnerable a doggie is a great solution!

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>They can motivate you to take a stroll in the park: This is the part were I should have said "They can motivate you to exercise," and that's also very true. However, it is my experience with Othello that when we try to go out and exercise we end up chasing other doggies or squirrels or sniff the park for the perfect pee spot, and in general run around in figure 8 more than exercise. A stroll through the park is healthy and very necessary nonetheless!

>They are excellent people magnets: Othello is cute, which results in millions of children or adults trying to pet him. Unfortunately, he is by nature extremely hyper so that makes it difficult for strangers to just pet him. He jumps and licks and barks and runs but never for a second he stands still. Other doggies, though, are excellent people magnets and result in great friendships and or relationships (hint!).

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> They can be a source for laughter and joy: About 50% of the time Daniel and I laugh is because Othello did something silly. He wiggles or randomly flops over for a belly rub. Several studies show that dogs can bring joy and smile to your face. They are very good with children, and that results in goofy moments full of laughter and joy.

>They can sense danger: Even the smallest of doggies can sense danger. They might not always be able to protect you the way a larger dog will, but these creatures have an incredible instinct and can alert you in case of an emergency. It's no accident that several dog breeds are trained to assist the police or the military. Dogs are also trained to assist people with seizures and blindness.

There you have it! Othello came to me by the means of a breeder because I was naive and didn't know any better. If you choose to become a doggie parent please choose to adopt. There are thousands of doggies out there that need a home and can be an excellent best friend! A quick Google search can point you to the nearest shelter.

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