During March of this year I decided that I was ready to take on the responsibility of becoming a pet owner. Growing up I always had multiple pets at my home, and since moving out on my own, I missed having them around. This was a decision I had put a lot of thought into because I knew I wanted to make sure I was in a position to be able to give the best care possible to my new furry friend. After lots of consideration, I concluded that it was time I reached out to my local animal shelter and adopt a dog. My original plan was to adopt a dog that was a couple years old because this would be the first animal that I would be taking care of on my own. However, when I got to the shelter, my heart took over my decision.
My boyfriend Connor and I were introduced to a three month old Border Collie mix. The shelter volunteer handed the puppy to me and it was game over, he had completely stolen my heart. We signed the papers and took the little guy home with us that day. We went to the pet store to pick out some dog food and other necessities, and decided to name him Bandit due to the black coloring around his eyes. I was so happy to have the chance to give Bandit a better life, but a better life is exactly what he has given me.
I have now had Bandit for seven months, and little did I know how much he would teach me every single day. He has taught me that most good things come with time and patience. He had his accidents and chewed through some of my stuff, but with time and practice we have worked together to learn good house manners. I had to remind myself that the things he chewed we were just material items, Bandit on the other hand was irreplaceable. He helped me learn to put what really matters into perspective.
Since adopting Bandit I have found myself outside more. Being outside is a great anxiety and stress relief for me I have realized. I look forward to coming home from work and taking him on a walk around our apartment complex while enjoying God’s natural creations. I love watching him roll around in the grass so carefree and joyful, and when we pass another person on the sidewalk, I love how he adds a little happiness to their day when they stop to pet and play with him.
I think the most important thing Bandit has taught and given me is unconditional love. No matter what kind of day I am having or what kind of mood I am in, Bandit is always excited to see me. I am always greeted with kisses when I come home and he always wants lots of snuggle time. Bandit doesn’t care about what I look like, what I have, or if I fail. Bandit loves me just for being me. I think everyone could learn something from our furry friends about how to love not just each other, but also ourselves.
“A dog is the only thing on Earth that loves you more than he loves himself.” – Josh Billings