Growing up I had the unfortunate situation of being an only child. (I know some of you probably think this is a fortunate situation instead of an unfortunate one, but just go with me here.) My mom and dad were both teachers, so they were gone most of the day, and at nights they were busy working on lesson plans, and grading papers. I spent the day with the aunt and uncle instead of going to daycare like most kids. My aunt and uncle were great, but they did not like to spend time outside. I on the other had LOVED being outside. I learned really quickly to use my imagination and to play by myself. When I was 5 years old my mom and dad bought me a puppy and I couldn’t have been more happy. I finally had someone to play with. Her name was Lady. And she loved being outside as well.
We would spend hours playing outside in the yard. We would run together, go on “Nature Hikes” together, listen and watch the birds in the yard, and even ride the swing together. She was my best friend. When I was 13 years old my dad passed away and I really didn’t have an interest in doing anything anymore. I became very shy, introverted and did not enjoy doing the things I used to anymore. But, over time Lady helped me over come it and I got back into Nature and spent more and more time outside. It’s no wonder that I wanted to be a vet for the longest time in my life. Lady was my best friend until I was 18, when she passed away. I will always remember her as my first friend ever.
Now I am 23, and have 3 amazing dogs. And you know what, they are still my best friends. They help me see the little things in life and in nature, a smell, or a sound or even spiders crawling across our patio.
Having no brothers or sisters to grow up with was a challenge for me. But with dogs I feel that they helped me become who I am today. Every great nature memory I have, or picture that I see from when I was younger has dogs in it. To this day we still go on “Nature Hikes” throughout the yard, or roll in the grass, play ball and watch birds together. Whether it be a hot day or there be snow on the ground we still go outside and play. Totally unstructured imaginary play.