Vol. 51

Issue 2

Celebrating Creative Expression at Baylor since 1966

Detail

Writing
 : Essay

I Believe In Dogs

Byline: Erika Lammon

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I Believe in Dogs

I've always been an animal lover. I loved animals so much that I begged for six years and

signed a contract in order to get a dog. It's a good thing that I got one too because without my

trusty sidekick, I wouldn't have learned as many lessons as I have today. These lessons are why I

believe in dogs.

Lesson 1: Dogs have taught me not to hold grudges. I have a ten pound chihuahua that

loves to weave into my path when I walk, so I've stepped on him countless times. Yet, every time

I crouch down, apologizing profusely, I see his beady eyes light up and his black tail begin to

sway back and forth; he had already forgiven and forgotten. From this experience I've learned to

not give that person who accidentally stepped on the back of my shoe last year the stink eye, or

go out on someone who spilt soda on my shoe. Accidents happen, and that makes us human.

Lesson 2: Dogs have taught me to be sympathetic. In seventh grade, my usual afternoon

routine was to do homework and then cry: I had a pretty terrible seventh grade. And every time I

lay on my shaggy purple carpet, my body shaking with sorrow, Oscar would climb up onto my

chest and lick the tears off my cheeks. Then he would lay next to me, head on my stomach, and

wait for the breaths to even, and the sobs to die down. To be honest, it's kind of hard to be sad

when a dog is licking your face. He had never gone to school or experienced drama, but he

understood that I was hurting and volunteered to help. With that lesson in mind, I now know that

sometimes a shoulder to cry on is all someone might need.

Lesson 3: Dogs have taught me to live in the moment. With anxiety, I tend to think of the

past and the future to a point of panic. Oscar on the other hand, will go from running around the

house like a madman, trying to pick up two toys at once, and then snuggling up on someone on

the couch in about ten seconds. He doesn't dwell on the past. No, he doesn't remember that one

time he chewed up my favorite pair of vans, nor does he regret it. And if he doesn't know what's

going to happen next, why care so much about it? I took this lesson to heart and everyday, even

if it's just ten minutes of my day, I think about the now, not the what ifs or the I could'ves, the

now.

Dogs are not only cute, soft, and snuggly, they're mentors. Integrating these lessons into

my daily routine has helped me see the world differently. If I'm thinking too much of the future, I

remember to stop, breathe, and observe what is happening. I remember to ask what's wrong if a

friend looks down. I remember to forgive because holding a grudge just adds more stress to my

already stressful life. I believe in carpe diem. I believe in compassion. I believe in letting go. I

believe in dogs.

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