There's nothing like a loyal, lovable dog.  They are there for you when you need them, love you unconditionally and are always up for a good time.  Just like children, dogs can be a lot of work, but the benefits far outweigh the cost.

Throughout my lifetime, I've had many dogs come and go.  Big dogs and little dogs.  Hyper dogs and  lazy dogs.  Loyal dogs and the ones that run every time they catch the door open.  No matter the dog, though, they always have such human personalities.  My family even had a boxer (Daisy) that would get mad when she didn't get her way, go sit in the corner, not make eye contact with anyone and pout like a child.  It was hilarious and annoying at the same time.  We always joke that our dogs never know how good they have it.  If you are a dog owner yourself, I'm sure you already know that every dog is special.  Although there are many reasons why I'm convinced that dogs truly are man's best friend, here are the two reasons that have impacted me the most in my lifetime.

LOYAL COMPANIONS - When my parents first got our Bulldog, Buddy, I didn't like to be around him too much because he slobbered all the time.  But, in 2012, I went through a period of anxiety and stomach issues.  I basically couldn't figure out what was wrong with me and missed work for weeks.  Each morning, when Ironman would head to work, I would go over to my parents and curl up on the couch to sleep the day away.  Buddy ended up being the best little nurse.  Although he wasn't allowed on the couch, I would help him jump up and then we would cuddle for hours.  Every time I would wake up, he would have his paw on me and be watching me.  I was convinced that Buddy knew that I was sick and needed comfort.  He is now my favorite dog I've ever known and I want my own Bulldog one day.

Daisy "spoke" English and Spanish since we lived overseas!
FIERCE PROTECTORS - Growing up overseas in Ethiopia and Bolivia was so much different than the typical American life.  One of the big differences was our home.  We were surrounded by tall cement walls, covered with glass shards and topped with spirals of barbed wire.  Our windows were reinforced with iron bars, our gate was always locked and we had a boxer name Daisy, who was constantly on the look out for "bad guys".  One night, while my sister Mary Ashley and I were home alone, we heard some noises outside at the same time that Daisy started to go wild.  My sister and I sped around the house, making sure all the doors were locked, as Daisy barked like she was going to eat someone for dinner.  She was running around, like she was losing her mind, and ramming her muscular body into the kitchen and front doors, trying to get out.  Come to find out later, some men had somehow gotten into our gate and were in our yard!  They never made it into the house, but I remember not being as scared as I probably should have been because I knew that if anyone got in that door, Daisy was going to kill them.

Having a dog is a big responsibility and shouldn't be taken lightly.  However, there are so many ways that a good, family dog can improve your life, if you're ready.  Just recently, my friend Katelyn, had some adorable mini Goldendoodles that were hard to pass up.  Although they are already all sold, you can check out her FaceBook page if you want to see some adorable, teddy-bear like faces.  But, if you are seriously looking around for a new family addition, I like to look at sites like Puppy Spot to see real photos and prices and dream of "one day".

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