Thought Catalog


What It’s Like To Lose The (Canine) Love Of Your Life

Posted: 29 Nov 2016 11:00 AM PST

There's something truly unique about the bond between dog and dog owner. Whether you're relaxing on the couch scratching your dog's stomach, running together, or playing fetch in the park, a dog is loyal to the core, always his or her drooling, panting, authentic self. We've partnered with Tito's Handmade Vodka, which advocates for rescue dogs and neglected animals, to celebrate the special relationships that can only be forged between dog people and their trusty canine friends.

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I have always been a dog lover, but I never intended on a dog to become the center of my world. And I most definitely never intended to feel heartbreak as powerful as I did when I lost him.

Loving a dog is a lot more powerful than a lot of people may think. Dogs will do anything to make their owner happy, and they will do whatever it takes to see you smile. Dogs will love you selflessly and fiercely, and won't ever hold a grudge. A dog's love for their owner is truly never ending. And my love for my dog I lost only a few months ago, still remains paw printed deep in my heart.

Ever since I could remember, my sister and I would write letters to our parents begging for a puppy, year after year. For a couple of years, guinea pigs kept us company, until one day our parents finally caved.

It was a terribly cold and snowy morning when we got 'Coal'. I remember looking down at four or five adorable puppies playing amongst themselves. Just to the right of where I stood, I saw one puppy shivering in the snow all by himself. Right away, I knew that was the one we had to take home.

He was the runt of the litter. He was the outcast and the underdog (no pun intended). Maybe that's why I felt a special bond towards him, as I had only weighed a pound and a half when I was born. We brought him home that day, and as it turns out, he was a match made in heaven for our quirky family. We quickly grew to love this bundle of joy and all of his crazy antics only a puppy could look adorable doing. He was obsessed with squirrels, shoes and of course food. He also loved to receive affection, which I gladly gave him every single day.

As years went by, my love for Coal grew and grew. He was there for my first school dance. He was there for me when I got asked out for the first time. He was there for me when I had my first heartbreak. And he was also there for me when the world felt like too much. Without fail, he happily greeted me at the door everyday with his tail wagging hard enough to knock a five-year-old kid down. And when I came home from college on breaks, he would be standing there in front of my house like a proud parent, waiting. He always was waiting for me, and no matter how long it had been, he loved me still. He was truly there through it all.

A few months after his 13th birthday, his back leg started wearing out. We watched in horror, as his right leg grew thinner and thinner, until he couldn't walk correctly any longer. I remember thinking to myself, 'this is happening too soon. I can't say goodbye to him now. Not like this'. When his left leg started giving out, that's when we knew we had to let him go. That's when it clicked that he wasn't going to be here forever and we had to say goodbye.

On the night we put him to sleep, and as hot tears fell on his black coat, I whispered to him and kissed his sweet face, thanking him for loving me for ten years straight. I thanked him for the cuddles and the walks. I thanked him for the unconditional love he had always felt for me. And I thanked him for showing me what true love felt like.

Losing a dog is never something you can be prepared for. It's painful and heart wrenching and makes you sick to your stomach – but the time that you have with them in the middle? That's the good part. That's the part that is worth it. And even though I lost Coal, I will always remember how it felt to be greeted by him every day. And I will never let his memory fade from my mind.

I think if I could start all over again with a new dog, I would spoil him a little more.

Dogs take a lot of out of you, and not to mention how incredibly expensive it is to take care of them but to be quite honest, I truly would do it all over again. Maybe I'd buy him a new set of food bowls, or some adorable dog toys. I'd also give him many, many more morning kisses.

The folks at Tito's Handmade Vodka understand this canine-human connection. So much so, in fact, that all of the proceeds from their pet merchandise go to Emancipet, which allows pet owners neuter services that are actually affordable (yes, actually). This company truly cares about dogs and as a dog lover myself (obviously) I can appreciate that immensely. By spoiling your dog with these awesome toys and treats, not only are you helping your best friend, but you're helping other dogs too.

So, give your dog the unconditional love they give you every single day. Take care of your animal and show them that you would do anything to make them happy, just like they do for you. And raise a glass to the canine love of your life. TC mark

This Post Was Produced In Partnership With Tito's Handmade Vodka

It’s Time To Stop Looking For The Perfect Mate And Start Looking For The Perfect Dog

Posted: 29 Nov 2016 10:00 AM PST

There's something truly unique about the bond between dog and dog owner. Whether you're relaxing on the couch scratching your dog's stomach, running together, or playing fetch in the park, a dog is loyal to the core, always his or her drooling, panting, authentic self. We've partnered with Tito's Handmade Vodka, which advocates for rescue dogs and neglected animals, to celebrate the special relationships that can only be forged between dog people and their trusty canine friends.

its-time-to-stop-looking-for-the-perfect-mate-and-start-looking-for-the-perfect-dog

In 2016, it's never been easier to feel frustrated with the dating game. Sure, the search for love has always been a little exhausting, but now with our overabundance of superficial dating apps, arbitrary texting rules, and the ability to be ignored on at least 5 different social media platforms at once, it's no wonder some of us are opting out of dating altogether.

I know how it must sound. I'm Captain Bitter onboard The Lonely Express. Like I'm some grumpy old man sitting on my front porch yelling a bunch of nonsense like, "THESE KIDS AND THEIR DAMN TINDER!" And you're right, there's a level of cynicism that's settling in. It's natural, I think. It's natural to tire of the same stuff.

Because I think our obsession with romance is actually holding us back from a real relationship.

I, like so many millennials I know, grew up with this idealistic notion of what love looks like – that it appears straight out of a 90s rom-com. It passionately announces itself. There's no ghosting. No online dating. It's just there, waiting to embrace you.

I'm not saying great love doesn't exist or that you can't have it. But we're so focused on dating, on finding our other half, that maybe we're secretly doing ourselves a disservice. Life is about more than just romantic love. Love exists in so many forms.

And you know the form we could all use a good dose of? Unconditional love.

I don't know about you, but I've found that kind of love doesn't come from snagging the perfect mate. For me, that kind of love has always existed in a furry face with a wagging tail.

If you want someone to love you purely, unconditionally, and no matter how you look, ditch the romantic expectations. Instead, find yourself the perfect dog.

A dog isn't going to care that you didn't shower that day. A dog isn't going to judge you for eating an entire microwavable pizza at 2 am (they'll probably just hope you're willing to share). A dog isn't going to fall out of love with you and trade you in for a newer model. A dog is going to be there, every day, equally ready for an adventure or a lazy day on the couch.

If you want to experience a lasting relationship, a 'Till Death Do Us Part' type of relationship, get yourself a canine companion. Not only can you learn a thing or two about love, but dogs have this trusting ability that I think we, as humans, should try to emulate. They don't hold grudges. They don't judge based on preconceived notions. Dogs are the very essence of love.

I think we could all try to be a little more like man's best friend.

Hey, falling in love is great! No one is disputing that! But a dog is going to love you forever. And you just can't say that about everyone else you meet. TC mark

This Post Was Produced In Partnership With Tito’s Handmade Vodka

Here’s What Kind Of Dog You Are Based On Your Myers-Briggs Personality Type

Posted: 29 Nov 2016 09:00 AM PST

There's something truly unique about the bond between dog and dog owner. Whether you're relaxing on the couch scratching your dog's stomach, running together, or playing fetch in the park, a dog is loyal to the core, always his or her drooling, panting, authentic self. We've partnered with Tito's Handmade Vodka, which advocates for rescue dogs and neglected animals, to celebrate the special relationships that can only be forged between dog people and their trusty canine friends.

heres-what-kind-of-dog-you-are-based-on-your-myers-briggs-personality-type

Doberman – INTJ

Intelligent, distinguished and loyal, the Doberman is an INTJ personality through and through. These canines are known for their loyalty and alertness – much like the INTJ, they defend what they love with a sharp intellect and distinguished temperament.

Jack Russell Terrier – ENTP

Off-beat, energetic and scheming, the Jack Russell Terrier is definitely the ENTP of the canine world. These dogs truly seem to live in a world of their own – much like their human counterparts the ENTP, who are known for always needing to push limits.

Great Dane – ENTJ

Dominant and confident, yet also surprisingly loyal and protective, the Great Dane is an ENTJ through and through. These dogs naturally assume authority, but display intelligence and independence in all of their actions – much like the ENTJ personality.

Afghan Hound – INTP

Distinguished and advanced in their reasoning abilities, the INTP personality is best represented by the Afghan Hound. These dogs are known for being slightly aloof, but also highly independent and intelligent – much like the INTP.

Saint Bernard – ISTJ

Protective and diligent, yet also gentle and calm around its loved ones, the Saint Bernard is a definite ISTJ personality type. These dogs are known for their history of rescuing humans in danger – just like the ISTJ, they don't hesitate to step up to the plate when they see that action needs to be taken.

German Shepherd – ESTJ

Confident, obedient and watchful, the German Shepard most closely resembles the ESTJ personality type. These dogs are fiercely protective of their loved ones and constantly aware of their surroundings – much like their dominant human counterparts the ESTJs.

Bulldog – ISTP

Independent and laid-back in nature, the ISTP is a definite bulldog. These breeds are well-loved by their owners for being low maintenance and content to entertain themselves – much like the ISTP personality.

Pit bulls – ESTP

Strong-willed, energetic and instinctual, ESTPs definitely align with the largely misunderstood Pit bull dog breed. These dogs are highly in tune with their environments and will go to any lengths to protect their loved ones – much like the proactive ESTP personality.

Labrador Retriever – ISFJ

Gentle, trusting and ceaselessly loyal, the Labrador Retriever is an ISFJ through and through. These canines are known for their kind, protective nature and their even tempered personalities. Just like the ISFJ, these canines are ones you can trust to be there for you come hell or high water.

Golden Retriever – ESFJ

Confident, friendly and trustworthy, a Golden Retriever can always be relied upon – just like an ESFJ. These dogs are well-trained, well-loved, and fiercely protective over the ones they love. The ESFJ mirrors all the best traits of this widely adored canine.

Bichon Frise – ISFP

Sensitive, affectionate and feisty, the Bichon Frise is an undeniable fit for the ISFP personality. These dogs are known for their cheerful and gentle nature, much like their feeling-dominant human counterparts. Plus they <em>always</em> have the cutest haircuts.

Poodle – ESFP

Active, alert and oh-so-hopelessly trendy, poodles are certainly the ESFPs of the canine world. These dogs don't mind standing out in a crowd and their highly instinctual nature gives their personalities a definite flair – just like the ESFP's.

Dalmatian – ENFP

Dalmatians truly are a breed of their own – and so are ENFPs. Just like their spotted canine counterparts, ENFPs need to do everything a little bit differently – and they don't mind standing out in a crowd. These pets are spunky and all-around loveable – just like the MBTI's inspirers.

ENFJ – Collie

Loyal, protective and highly intelligent, the Collie represents the canine version of the ENFJ personality type. These dogs are known for energetic yet affectionate nature – just like the ENFJ.

INFP – Old English Sheepdog

Playful and loving yet also highly intelligent and independent, you embody all the best qualities of the Old English Sheepdog.  The Sheepdog's owners appreciate their pet for its strong will yet peaceful demeanor – which is exactly why your friends appreciate you as an INFP.

INFJ – Siberian Husky

Sharp, intuitive and highly independent, you embody all the best qualities of the Siberian Husky. This dog is cool and composed, but also fiercely protective when it comes to the people it loves – just like the INFJ. TC mark

This Post Was Produced In Partnership With Tito's Handmade Vodka

26 Awkward Moments Only Dog-Owners Will Relate To

Posted: 29 Nov 2016 02:00 AM PST

There's something truly unique about the bond between dog and dog owner. Whether you're relaxing on the couch scratching your dog's stomach, running together, or playing fetch in the park, a dog is loyal to the core, always his or her drooling, panting, authentic self. We've partnered with Tito's Handmade Vodka, which advocates for rescue dogs and neglected animals, to celebrate the special relationships that can only be forged between dog people and their trusty canine friends.

Man walking with his yellow labrador retriever on the old bridge

1. Having a full-blown conversation out loud…only to realize that you're genuinely bouncing ideas off of your dog.

2. And then you catch yourself waiting for their response.

3. And generating your opinion based on their facial expression, their bark, or the adorable cock of their fuzzy head.

4. Constantly pulling dog hair out of your clothes, your hair, your sheets, sometimes even your teeth.

5. Spending so much money on air freshener and candles because you don't want your house to smell like a kennel.

6. Spending even MORE money on organic food and treats, and then you joke about how your dog eats better than you. (But it's not a joke. It's for real.)

7. Not even being fazed about letting them eat a bite of your pasta off of your fork.

8. Considering letting them lick the plates clean before the dishes go into the dishwasher a "necessary" step in the cleaning process.

9. Sleeping cuddled up in a corner of your bed like a peasant because SOMEONE has claimed the rest of it.

10. Even though you've spent a pretty penny on a dog bed just for them, it now collects dust in the corner or is only utilized when they're in trouble for all of 5 minutes.

11. Flirting with someone cute at the dog park, and then it dawns on you that you're holding an actual bag of shit that you need to toss.

12. Having to shrug your shoulders and apologize when your dog barks at a baby.

13. Feeling genuine panic while WebMDing symptoms…for your dog…because they "don't seem normal."

14. Kissing your dog on the mouth and then realizing how gross you're being.

15. But honestly not caring at all because it's so SWEET.

16. Having a full-blown guilt session filled with actual remorse every time you accidentally run into them or step on them.

17. Handing someone your phone and getting a side eye because every photo in your camera is of your dog doing some variation of the same cute pose.

18. Genuinely calling them your best friend…in front of your "human" best friend.

19. Saying, "I'm sorry!" over and over and over again while bathing them, while internally laughing at how ridiculous they look in the tub.

20. Secretly thinking that anyone who says they're a "cat person" is really missing out.

21. Affirmatively stating that you like dogs (especially your own) more than people. And being 110% serious.

22. Getting caught by better dog owners at the park while yours is misbehaving, and looking like a fool while they run away from you when you're screaming "Come here!!!!"

23. Not even hesitating to answer, "My dog, duh." When your S/O asks who you love more.

24. Finding dog hair in your food, and eating it anyway.

25. Moving to the other side of the couch because your dog wanted your spot, and it's just not worth the guilt trip.

26. Loving your dog so much (like so, so, so, so, SO much) that it actually overwhelms you. And you feel stupidly lucky for having that ball of love, dog hair, and awesomeness in your life.

This Post Was Produced In Partnership With Tito’s Handmade Vodka