Animals are the Best Teachers

I’m a strong believer that every animal has at least one lesson to teach us on our journey. Here are the lessons I’ve learned so far.

Dogs: Dogs love you on your worst days. Dogs love you on your best days. Dogs love you when you yell, cry, laugh, or a combination of all three. Dogs appreciate every little thing you do for them and are the most loyal creatures we can ask for. Dogs absolutely love unconditionally. If I could change anything about dogs, I would lengthen their too-short life span without a second thought. Dogs unfortunately showed me true heartbreak. They become our best friends and a true part of our families, but they all have to leave us too soon. Dogs taught me that grief is the price we pay for love.

Cats: Cats are complex animals with complex lessons. First, I need to clarify one thing: there’s a huge difference between regular indoor cats and BARN cats. I’ve only had barn cats in my life, so I can’t write about the fluffy, declawed, clean, indoor cats. Barn cats are tough. Tough to keep alive, tough to find, tough to micro-manage. When I was little, I was continually devastated that I couldn’t smother them with love. I had a lot of barn cats. The two toughest were (by far) Luigi and Stereo. There were both black and big and ruthless. They tolerated me. As Stereo grew old, he got away from killing gophers and rabbits. He settled with killing only a few mice a day. After a while, Mom started letting him in the house. He became fond of the fireplace and became an indoor/outdoor cat (my dad will deny this.) Cats taught me that it’s okay to be tough and it’s okay to change your life and it’s definitely okay to be alone.

Chickens: If you read my first blog, you know I believe chickens are the spawn of Satan. They taught me how to run, climb fence at record speed, watch my own back, and how to forever fear something that’s 95% smaller than me. Chickens, (roosters in particular) are mean and I’m pretty sure they take pride in this. They’re pompous, rude, and did I mention mean? However, if you grew up on a ranch you know there’s really no escaping chickens. All of the other animals on the ranch started to seem pretty freakin’ nice compared to the chickens. Chickens taught me (although I was reluctant to learn anything from them) you have to live with the bad to appreciate the good.

Fish: Everything dies, or does it? I’ve had a goldfish for 10 years. 10. I won him at the carnival, but he was kind of a burden on the rides so I put him down in the shade. When I came back a few hours later, he was no longer in the shade. The bag was scalding hot and he didn’t look so good. I took him home and put him in my aquarium. He was apparently fine because it only took him a few days to eat all of my other fish. After about a year, my mom told me I had to get him out of the house because he was weirdly big and creeped her out. After a while of struggling with ethics and personal moral values, I decided to dump him in the horse trough on a really cold day. I remember this because I was pretty sure he was going to get belly-up within a few hours. He didn’t. Unfortunately, he’s still alive and well and won’t die. Ever. He swims kinda crooked and turned pure white, but he seems as happy as if he had good sense. His name is Carni.

Horses: My friend Codi Uecker once summed up the most important lesson horses were able to teach me over the course of 22 years. She wrote, “I think about all of our successes and all of our failures. It never mattered which occurred, just that we did it together. The number of failures we earned only made our time of triumph that much greater.” This is how it always has been and always will be. Always.

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7 Reasons Why Getting a Dog is not a Good Idea During College

 

20160619_110114College is hard as is. But to add a dog, into the mix… what could I have possibly been thinking?! Take it from me; being a college student and caring for my dog, Lilo, is too much! Here are 7 reasons proving why college and dogs just do not mix.

No more sleeping in.

Every single morning, I swear, Lilo wakes me up before 8 o’ clock, which is just soooo early. Even worse, she wakes me up by nudging herself in between my pillow and my head and proceeds to lick my face. Man, puppy kisses are so annoying.

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Dogs require a ton of money to care for.

A dog is a HUGE money guzzler. I have to spend a whopping $45 a month on her for food, toys, and other necessities. I have to cancel my monthly nail appointment just to afford that!

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Companionship

Who would want someone that is there for you no matter what, who listens to every problem you have at any time of the day, who loves you through everything, no if’s, and’s, or but’s? That’s right, No one. Best friends are overrated!

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They take up so much of your time.

Dogs are really demanding. They require so much up-keep: a few walks around the block, trips to the dog park… It’s just too much. I don’t have time to balance school and my social life AND a dog. Just to make things worse, I can’t bring my dog with me anywhere ! Nowadays, no establishments are dog-friendly and all my friends just hate when I bring an adorable dog with me when we hang out. UGH.

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Dogs don’t make you that happy.

Dogs are just kind of there. You don’t get emotionally attached to them at all. They don’t become the center of your world nor do they make you question how you survived before they entered your life. And there are zero scientific findings on the life-long positive effects of owning a dog… absolutely none.

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You become more responsible.

It drives me CRAZY that I actually had to learn how to be responsible when adopted Lilo. Why couldn’t I have just learned responsibility once I was out of college… in the real world… with no money and no plans?! That would have been way better than learning a valuable life lesson in college. I would much prefer falling flat on my face due to my irresponsibility in a few years!

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Dogs just aren’t cute.

ESPECIALLY puppies. Their fur isn’t even that fluffy and soft and those puppy dog eyes never tug at my heart strings. None of it’s cute! Not even when you try and get your dog to howl but they just can’t so it sounds like this…

 

 

By Kailey Norman

Alaskan Malamutes for Dummies

* Be advised this is one person’s opinion and experience of owning an Alaskan Malamute… oh that’s kind of what a blog is.

Like owning a pet of any kind, Alaskan Malamutes are a huge responsibility.  You have to devote a part of every day to exercising, playing with, training, etc.

I got my Malamute, Simba, when he was about 10 weeks old, during winter break.  He’s now 11 months. Was it a smart idea to get a puppy while still in college? Probably not. None the less, I don’t regret my choice. He has changed my life for the better.20160131_141429

When I decided to get a malamute, I did a lot of research on the basics of the breed’s characteristics, personalities and training. Was I prepared to raise a malamute? Hell no.

I now had this little fluff ball in my life who was energetic and adorable. I was clueless to how to raise a dog, even with all of my research. I didn’t know what kind of shots he needed and for how long. It was one of those times when you call your mother to ask how to do your laundry. I did call my mother, got the vet’s number that we’ve used for ages and looked online about puppy kindergarten. I found out to participate in puppy kindergarten he had to have his first set of shots. Simba ended up going it Sit Happens for puppy kindergarten an hour a week. This is crucial for puppies to socialize with other dogs while they are under 5 months.

I also didn’t know how much to feed him, especially when he was rapidly growing until 7 or 8 months.  He gained about 10-12 pounds every 3 weeks when he visited the vet.  Therefore his food amount increased often.  I mainly followed the directions on the back of the food bag regarding how much to feed him.  While observing if he finished all his food, and if he was getting a little too skinny or fat. It was actually very hard to tell when they are still in the growing phase. When he was young I fed him 3 times a day because it was better for his digestive system. Now he has 2 cups of food in the morning and 2 cups in the evening. Furthermore while malamutes are younger, you shouldn’t allow them to jump over anything that is the same height or higher than their shoulders to prevent hip complications since they are more susceptible to hip dysplasia.

Malamutes need exercise. A lot of what I read said Malamutes are energetic and need exercise to the extent that they need work to do – whether it be running, hiking, walking or playing with you or other dogs. An exercised Malamute is a happy Malamute … and owner. That’s the truth. When Simba was younger, I left him while I was in class for 3 hours. When I returned, he’d chewed up the couch cushion and toilet paper is all over the floor. He now stays outside while I am away. Also getting a hike or an hour walk each day.20160722_181211

Malamutes are independent and at times stubborn. I constantly experienced this every single time we did dog training classes. Simba would only follow commands as long as it benefitted him. In other words, as long as you had food to give him.  So don’t be surprised or disappointed if your malamute doesn’t follow your every command. In many instances Simba still won’t come on command.

On hikes, due to being independent, he would wander off by himself for short periods of time. One time on a hike, when he was 4 or 5 months, he disappeared during a walk. I spent 20 minutes calling his name and walking back and forth on the trail. I was in full panic mode. I ended up calling my mother and brother to see if they could come and help me find him. Fortunately, my brother was walking his roommate’s dog in the same area and drove past my car. Sitting by the car was Simba. To say that I was relieved was an understatement.

Malamutes like many artic breeds, are extremely friendly. Therefore they don’t make the best guard dogs. They are more likely to invite an intruder in and ask them for pets. Simba displays this characteristic to a T. He is extremely friendly to everyone he encounters to an extent that he will occasionally jump on them. He doesn’t realize that most people don’t want an almost 100-pound dog in their face. Let’s just say he is still learning not to jump on people

All and all malamutes are  intelligent, energetic, independent breed that requires dedication to raise them.  But once you earn their respect they are a family member for life.20160723_082617

10 Reason Every Man In His Early Twenties Should Own A Dog

I got my dog, Brook Trout, four months ago and my life has not been the same since. Over the past four months I’ve learned what it means to be solely responsible for another life. In your early twenties you have a lot going on between class, work, relationships, and trying to figure out what to do with your life. It might not seem like the best time to get a dog, but if you’re ready to take on the challenge it will be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. I’ve put together a list of 10 reasons every man in his early twenties should get a dog, as long as  he is up for the challenge.

10 Reasons Every Man In His Early Twenties Should Own A Dog…
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  1. It will help you learn how to balance your responsibilities. When you’re in your early twenties you want to just lean your head out the window and enjoy the scenery, but you have to buckle down and get ready for the rest of your life. btclarkfork
  2. It will help keep you active. No matter how busy you are you have to find time to get out and exercise with your dog, whether it is a short walk around the neighborhood or a long afternoon hike, your dog will get you outside. btriver
  3. You will always have a companion that will love you unconditionally no matter what. After you graduate you will have friends come and go, but your dog will always be there when you need a best friend. brookcoorslight
  4. You always have a drinking buddy. Whether it’s a beer when you get home from work or a beer on the river, your dog will always be there to keep you company while you enjoy a silver bullet. btyeti5. There will always be an extra set of eyes on your cooler; more importantly the contents of your cooler. btfishing6. You’ll always have a fishing buddy. When you’re itching to go fishing, but none of your friends are your dog will be more than ready to hit the river with you!
    btzootown7. It will give you a different view of the world. As long as your dog has enough food, enough water, a place to sleep at night, and someone to love they are happy and healthy. This is perhaps the most important lesson you can learn from having a dog. btfood8. You’ll always have a reason to laugh. No matter how stressed out you are your dog will always be there doing goofy things to put a smile on your face. btbitterroot9. Your dog will always be looking out for you. Whether it is a stranger approaching you or a bear approaching you, your dog will always alert you when things aren’t quite right. img_309810. GIRLS. I have yet to meet a girl that can resist a cute puppy. I am always approached by girls when I take Brook out for a walk in busy places, specifically around campus. My single guy friends are always asking me if they can take Brook for a walk, they play it off like they’re trying to help me out, but we all know they’re just using Brook to pick up girls.

If you would like to see more pictures of Brook Trout you can check her out on my Instagram @Jared_Denni! Thank you! – Jared Denniston

 

Memes to the Rescue or: 7+ Cat Memes, Funny eCards and Epic Fails to Turn a Sh**ty Day Around.

Let’s face it…life is hard. Some days are great, some are just OK and some days are just plain awful. For whatever reason, there are days during our lives that are harder, more stressful, unbearably sad or completely maddening. But don’t despair, dear readers, for there is hope. We have within our grasp a powerful tool that, in the right hands, can obliterate even the most terrible mood. That tool … is the internet.

Forged in the fires of D.A.R.P.A., the internet is a mysterious land, teeming with the forces of good and evil. I have always believed in the mood-transforming powers of the internet, but cyberspace is vast and filled with countless villains who seem bent on making your bad mood even worse. I have always tried to fight these villains and harness the powers of internet for the forces of good.

In honor of that lofty goal, I’ve taken it upon myself to create one blog post to change those “meh” moments into “yay” moments. One blog post to turn to when the Facebook NewsFeed is bringing you down. One blog post that can shine a light when it seems all other lights have gone out.

Memes can take many forms, but I find that video tends to be the most powerful. So here are just a few funny or inspiring memes and videos culled from many corners of cyberspace collected into one post.

One post…to rule them all.

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Humans Are Pretty Great, After All!

It can be easy to get down on your fellow humans, especially if you spend time with them, but this video will definitely remind you that people can be pretty awesome too!

Epic Fails

I have most definitely tripped and fallen in front of large groups of people while checking out my reflection while passing a window.  In the spirit of commiseration, here is a collection of totally epic fails that remind us that we are, in fact, all human.

Cute Puppies

I don’t think cute puppies need much explaining, but in case you need a little bit of inspiration, there is something incredibly rejuvenating about watching little fuzzy balls of cuteness try to figure out a door.

Funny Cat Videos (of course)

I’m pretty sure the internet was invented to facilitate the sharing of cat videos…

eCards

I need to see a funny eCard on a daily – sometimes hourly – basis.  Here are a few of my favorites.

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Spread the Love

I hope this post gave you some respite from any doldrums you may have been experiencing in your life.  Feel free to share this link with anyone, and on any social media platform, you think it may do some good!

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Post by Chris Jambor, a senior at University of Montana’s School of Business Administration.