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There are times in all of our lives when we lean on our relationships to get us through. Friends and family are sometimes a much needed crutch to help us hobble through the trying times. College was a pretty isolating time for me. I don’t know why, but I struggled to find my place, especially in the early years. My family was hours away, I couldn’t really count on any of my “friends”, and I was feeling very alone. It was during this time that I began to truly appreciate one of the “unsung heroes” in my life… my dog, Teddy.
Teddy and I have gone through so much together. She’s been with me since I was a bratty teenager. She’s seen me through breakups, high school graduation, college life, post-grad single-girl days, and eventually, my relationship and marriage to John. Our relationship has evolved many times, and I value her companionship enormously. When I think about why she’s so special to me, I think back to the days when it was just the two of us.
I imagine Teddy felt pretty confused as a youngster. I was her “mom”, but I needed a lot of caring for, myself. I lost my temper. I didn’t give her the attention she needed. I left her in my apartment, alone, for far longer than I should have. The thought of it makes me sick today. How could I have treated her that way? I was immature and looking back, I had no business caring for someone other than myself.
But Teddy stayed loyal through those rough years. It was as if she knew I was a mess, and that I needed her friendship. She didn’t see it as abandonment, she saw it has an insight into how to care for me. I remember breaking down (numerous times) in my little apartment. Teddy would curl up beside me, or lick away my tears. She never let me sleep alone, and she was always a willing participant for any girls-night-in, when all of my other friends had abandoned me.
Towards the end of college, I finally figured out that I needed to get myself together. I started taking better care of Teddy. I never left her for long periods of time. I made sure she got the veterinary care she needed. And I became increasingly concerned with her well-being. In those post-grad single girl days (before we added John’s dog who has terrible allergies to our lives), I fed Teddy PEDIGREE® Adult Dog Food, which can be found at Sam’s Club. Teddy was happy to see my new-found maturity, but she never made me feel guilty about it. She welcomed me with the same unconditional love as she did when I was a bratty college coed.
Soon after I wised up and started to fall into my new “responsible adult” role, I met John. Teddy fell into her new life seamlessly. I liked this guy. And he treated me well! I was pretty nervous about screwing it up, and I leaned on Teddy again. She was my rock when I had the jitters. This new relationship brought new relationships for Teddy, too. All of a sudden, she had a new “person” and a new “dog” to befriend. It wasn’t always easy for her, but she’s grown to love John and Sami alike. Teddy knew that a life with John and Sami would make me very happy, so she sacrificed her place as “an only dog” so that we could all find happiness together.
It was during the time that John and I got engaged that I really realized that Teddy wasn’t a puppy any more. She understood that our lives were changing, and I knew that things were changing in Teddy’s world, too. In addition to starting my new life with John, I started taking note of the things that I needed to do for Teddy’s health. Her teeth weren’t nearly as white and bright as they used to be, and she was happier laying on the couch than ripping through the house. I tried brushing her teeth a few times a week, but I just couldn’t remember to do it. Luckily, I found PEDIGREE® DENTASTIX®! These made me rest easy because as a veterinary technician, I know just how important oral health is for our pets.
I know not all dogs have Teddy’s life, and I try to help out as I can. Buying PEDIGREE® products makes me feel good because with each PEDIGREE® purchase at Sam’s Club during the month of October, they will donate a bowl of dog food to a dog in need. So, I picked up a huge variety box of PEDIGREE® DENTASTIX® last time I shopped at Sam’s Club.
As for our relationship now? It has never been stronger. I think I’m able to value Teddy because she’s been with me through it all. My favorite time of the day is bedtime. My absolute most cherished view is seeing my husband sound asleep on his side of the bed, with Teddy asleep between us… my two greatest companions all rolled into one sheet.
Dogs and people will always share a special bond. I’d love to hear if you have a special bond with a dog. Or better yet, you can show me on Instagram or Twitter. When you upload a photo of the dog you love & use the hashtag #LaterShelter, the PEDIGREE® brand will donate a bowl of food to a dog in need, AND you’ll have a chance to be featured on SamsClub.com! So get to sharing those photos!