My Love of Dogs

Dogs have been in my life since I was born, and they have always been my best friend before humans in most cases, until I grew older, then humans become equal to my dog friends. They have supported me in growth and understanding myself and what love looks and feels like.

The first dog I ever had was named Chelsea since I was little. I don’t have many memories besides playing in the pool and having tea parties with her. My second dog was named Max, and he played basketball and soccer, and at the time, I played basketball and soccer. Max and I did a lot together. We would practice basketball. We would do this by shooting the hoop in our front yard, and every so often goes to the high school to practice. He was my comfort when I cried, and I would take his paw. He handled a lot from me. I even laid with him on his bed or floor, depending on where he was in the house.

Max was one of my closest friend animals when I was younger. I would read to him the latest story I was reading. He loved me unconditionally as I loved him that way too. I loved he knew how to play basketball and soccer, disproving anyone that believed dogs were stupid.

The picture I took of Max, my dog, and him smiling at me.

I have always had a deep connection with animals in general, and max still had that smile on his face no matter what was happening in his life or mine. He always greeted me after school and work. He was the only one who waited in anticipation for me to come home. He was always by my side when I studied for school and considerable tests. He was there, never leaving my side.

Then as he became an older dog, a friend of my Aunt’s had a puppy litter that my mom and I had the opportunity to watch when the family was out of town. I would go over to the house and play with all the newborn puppies. They stayed by their mom’s side at the beginning of the visits. They eventually crawled out to make cute winning sounds. There was one puppy I fell in love with right away. She was a girl and the smallest of the litter, at least it looked like it. She had a white chest that was beginning to grow, and she couldn't even crawl with her brothers and sister so that I would hold her on my visits often.

My heart knew she was mine, so the next step was convincing my mom to get her when she was available to buy. So began the month of talking non-stop about that puppy and talking to Max about it too. Every day I talked about how max would love to have a little sister, and I would love my first puppy.

My mom was reluctant. First, I was in high school during this time and couldn't even drive yet. I didn't give up; I even recruited my best friend at the time to help convince my mom. After continuous endless weeks of talking my mom into getting the puppy, I fell in love with it. She asked what we would name her. The next task was her name. We talked about it for just as long as I talked about getting the puppy. We finally agreed on a name after two weeks. Her name would be Maggie.

The picture was taken by me of Maggie, begging to go for a walk.

When we finally got her at 6 or 8 months old, I don't know her exact age. We introduced her to her new home. Max sniffed her but loved her right away, treated her as his own puppy. Max and Maggie were both mutts; Max was adopted from the shelter, and Maggie came from the litter, which we ended up getting her for free, which was a blessing and a gift. She taught me patience as she was so small.

She took a little over a year before I took her on her first walk, in which she was afraid of all the car sounds going by and hearing other dogs bark at her. She had lots of energy at this time as max was getting much older but still played with her until he was tired. Maggie didn't play sports, but she got along well with other dogs and was easy going like max.

Dogs teach us what unconditional love looks like, and don't ever leave your side. I talked about Max and maggie because they were some of the biggest influences in my life growing up. They help shape who I am today. I love dogs because they love us, no matter what. I don't see a stupid animal; I see an intelligent, loving one.

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Jessi Hersey

Author and Teacher write about inclusion, current events, diversity and love.