Adopt a dog and make things a little less ‘ruff’

Last week, a beautiful mixed-breed canine blessed me with her unconditional love and companionship. My baby girl Koda is almost six years old, and she’s a little shy, but very sweet. She was graced with the loving, laid-back personality of a golden retriever and the protectiveness and loyalty of a German Shepherd. Bringing Koda home and getting the opportunity to be her human is proving to be beneficial to my mental, physical, and emotional health in many different ways.

She makes me happy and helps me relieve stress and anxiety. The simplest reason is the most profound in my case. I absolutely adore dogs, and I have wanted to get one for a long time. Any time I got to pet a dog, it would make my day infinitely better. Having Koda with me every day and feeling our bond grow just gives me a feeling of warm contentment and happiness.

She gives me a reason to get out of bed. Every morning I start my day with a smile. I open my eyes and say good morning to my beautiful girl, and I’m greeted with a wagging tail and doggy kisses. Seeing Koda so happy to see me makes me energetic and excited to take on the day. I like to pretend that she’s proud of me for my little accomplishments, like going to class on days when I don’t feel like it.

She provides structure where there once was none. Ever since I started formal schooling, almost everything in my life had been pre-planned from sunup to sundown. I’m eternally grateful to my parents for providing me with that stable structure, but the fact that my days at college weren’t pre-organized for me was a rude awakening. Even though I’m three years in, I still have trouble managing my time and setting up a schedule for myself. Having Koda depend on me to feed her, take her out, and play with her motivates me to schedule my time around her as well as incorporate time for workouts and homework.

She gives me a chance to be responsible and accountable. As the baby of the family, most responsibility falls on my older sister. I haven’t had to do much on my own with her around, and I hope she reads this and knows how grateful I am to her for always looking out for me. While I can’t really complain about how easy I’ve gotten it most of my life, it’s nice to have something that’s entirely my responsibility.

Koda increases my confidence and promotes positive self-worth. When she is with me, I feel less of my insecurities and self-consciousness. Having such a close friend that depends on me, loves me unconditionally, doesn’t judge me and has no malicious intentions or expectations for me to meet is very comforting.

If you’re looking to adopt a fur-ever friend like Koda, visit Dubuque’s Humane Society at 4242 Chavenelle Road, close to the intersection of highway 20 and Pennsylvania Avenue.

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