Life paw-tners: Celebrating National Dog Day

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Rasika Patel

Chai, junior Rasika Patel’s doodle poses for a picture.

Seiya Mutreja, Staff Reporter

All around the world, people love and cherish their pets. Almost fifty million households in the United States own at least one dog. However, animal abuse is common in many settings. Recently, the Humane Society started working towards removing approximately 4000 beagles from a mass breeding facility in Virginia. These dogs have experienced inadequate veterinary care, animal testing, and a lack of food. As the mistreatment of these dogs has dominated the news, National Dog Day has taken on a deeper meaning for many animal lovers.

Junior Rasika Patel has had her dog Chai for two years and has recently celebrated Chai’s birthday. After begging her parents to get her a dog, Patel has learned about both the responsibility and joy of having a dog.

“Having a dog is a lesson on love and a test of patience,” Patel said. “My dog Chai is the cutest and sweetest little thing ever but is difficult to manage sometimes.”

Coach Caitlin Sawyer has had her dog Murphy for one year. Similarly to Patel, she attests to the delight of having a dog.

“My favorite thing about Murphy is that he is always so happy to see you. He is so sweet to everyone,” Sawyer said.

One of Sawyer’s favorite memories was going to Colorado to get her dog. Patel mentioned that she often prefers her dog’s company over her family’s.

“My favorite memory with my dog is probably just chilling with her,” Patel said. “Since we got Chai, I am more inclined to hang out downstairs with the rest of my family because Chai is there.”

Patel described how having a dog has changed her routine for the better. She described taking walks and spending time with Chai. Similarly, Sawyer enjoys spending time with Murphy.

“Being able to take your dog to do the things you love is one of the most gratifying parts of having a dog,” Sawyer said. “My dog loves swimming at the lake, hiking trails, and going to Starbucks to get a puppuccino with me. I love being able to take him everywhere I go.”

Both Sawyer and Patel treat their dogs to their favorite foods. For Patel, this means baking Chai pumpkin oatmeal cookies from scratch, while Sawyer’s dog, Murphy, has a more savory palate. 

“Chai’s favorite food is chicken,” Patel said. “She loves it. Sometimes she runs out the front door and waits for us to offer her chicken.”

Indeed, both Patel and Sawyer mentioned that their dogs tend to be energetic. However, in Sawyer’s case, it is often hard to manage.

“He is so hyper that his tail knocks over candles or glasses,” Sawyer said. “He can’t control his excited tail.”

Both Patel and Sawyer vouch for the elation that dogs bring in their lives. Dogs brighten the lives of almost forty percent of all Americans. Yet, they face cruelty from laboratories and other facilities. Society’s consensus is that adopting dogs would help provide them with a comfortable home and give someone a paw-tner for life.

“If you are debating whether or not to adopt a dog, you absolutely should,” Sawyer said. “If you can provide them a loving home, then absolutely.”