I Believe in Man’s Best Friend

Amanda - Lakewood, Colorado
Entered on October 19, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

I’ve had a dog since the day I was born and couldn’t imagine life without one. When my first dog, King, was put to sleep my parents started looking for a puppy to help ease the pain. We found two German Sheppard Mix puppies, a male and a female named Lucky and Ginger. They had Distemper, an incurable, contagious disease that attacked the central nervous system. We found a vet in Conifer, Colorado that was willing to treat the dogs. We were never able to enroll them in obedience classes, so they were never socialized. After a year and a half of treatment they were cured.

One night changed the rest of my life. My parents and I were walking the dogs in the park near our house. There was a free concert that night and there were over one hundred people enjoying it. An older woman and one of her grandkids came up to us asking to pet the dogs. My mother said no and explained why, but the woman persisted. Eventually my mother gave in and let her pet Lucky, the more social of the two. She put her face about two inches from his and he snapped at her. The courts deemed Lucky a dangerous and aggressive dog and we were forced to put them both down.

Many people say that if you haven’t experienced something then you can’t judge or talk about others who have. Well I can say that I have been forced to live without a dog and I felt like it ruined my life. Spending time at home was the worst. My parents were always fighting and my dad cheated on my mom. I would find excuses to stay out and I got into a lot of trouble. I was drinking as a high school freshmen; I would go as far as ditching class to get drunk with the upper classmen.

We took great care in adopting another dog and found that Golden Retrievers are social by nature. We found a puppy from a breeder and named him Chance. He has changed everyone’s life for the better. I have stopped drinking and graduated high school ranked 19 of 169. He’s changed my entire family with his love and companionship. My parents don’t fight as much and they’re working past that my dad had cheated. My brother is currently engaged and I’m working my way through college. Having Chance around has turned my family back into the loving and accepting family we were in the beginning. I have my best friend back and I never want to be without him again. I believe that living without a dog lowers your quality of life.