You’ve Got a Friend in Me

  How A Dog Become Your Best Friend ?

One of my favorite things in life is friendship. Friendship that’s unconditional, consistent, and accepting.
That kind of friendship is such a gift, but it’s pretty tough to find this kind of friend. Thankfully, by the
grace of God, I managed to do it, and I think you can too. Let me share a little about my best friend, I
hope it leads you to yours.
In March of 2020, at the height of the COVID pandemic, I moved into a new apartment in Dallas, Texas.
The complex was one of the most well-known and well-loved in the city. Its trails and dog parks were
consistently packed with residents and their pups.
At the time, I wasn’t a dog person. I hated the feeling of greasy fur, slobbery licks, dirty hair and all the
rest that comes with owning a furry friend. I loved the way that dogs looked though. Every time I’d pass
one on the trails, I thought they were beautiful, unique, and I secretly always wished I would have one
someday. I wished that I could get over my fear of the “uncleanliness” that came with being a pet owner.
Who knew that a year and a half later, after the hardest year of my life, my wishes would come true.

In August of 2020, I started my senior year of college and I was diagnosed with chronic depression and
anxiety. I struggled with it all of my life, but it finally got to a point where I sought help and was directed
towards medication as a solution. With all medicines, come side effects, but unfortunately I’m especially
prone to them. A lot of the first ones I tried, I reacted very poorly too. My depression was at an all time
high. I could get out of bed, but I was extremely lonely. I had no motivation for work, school, being social,
and everything I used to enjoy felt pointless. To top it off, I was often physically alone in my apartment,
which isolated me even more.
At the time, my counselor had asked if I’d ever considered getting a pet to keep me company and I had
quickly replied no. I couldn’t take care of myself, how could I take care of a pet? Plus, they were dirty, and
that still bothered me.
A year’s time had passed and I was doing slightly better mentally. I’d found a medicine that drastically
reduced my anxiety, but depression was still a struggle. One day, in August of 2021, I was sitting alone in
my apartment and a thought struck me. What if a dog could really help me not feel this way? I don’t want
to be alone anymore. I’m tired of it.
If you knew me, you’d know that I’m a very hyper-focused person when it comes to ideas. So I took off
running with this thought. I looked up a local animal shelter and began looking at all the available dogs
who needed homes. Some free advice, if you don’t really want a dog, let’s just say you should definitely
not go looking at all their adorable faces online. It will pull on your heartstrings and you’ll cave. And yes,
I’m speaking from experience.
After looking at all their photos, I decided I was in fact going to get a dog, but there was one problem.
How could I choose?

A day later, I got a phone call from my mom. She had seen a post on the NextDoor website about a white American Pitbull named Taco. Taco was in a shelter and rescued by a local Dallas resident, but after a month, she couldn’t keep him anymore. She was looking for someone to take him, as he would have to return to a shelter if she couldn’t find anyone willing. I was hesitant at first, because I’m a pretty small girl and I’ve heard that pitbulls have a bad reputation, but once I saw one photo of him, I fell in love. I immediately messaged the women and three days later, I brought Taco home.

The experience of bringing home a new friend was surreal, especially because of the situation. Taco was
estimated to be about three years old at the time. I wasn’t given any information about where he came
from, except the fact that he was probably abused by his previous owner and other dogs. It was pretty
obvious too from the scratches, cuts and bruises that were on his body. Once I got him settled in my
apartment, he was extremely shy and skittish. Afraid of every little noise, cautious to the touch and he
stuck very close by the door in a corner where he felt safe. It was really sad to watch. However, as time
passed, day after day, he began to warm up to me.

We would wake up together in the mornings, go on long walks, play with new toys, cuddle on the couch and even sleep together at night (I was opposed to this at first, but come on, how can you say no to this face?). He slowly, but surely, became my best friend.
Not only was Taco’s life-improving by the minute, but mine was too. The unconditional love that he showed helped me feel seen and cared for. I no longer felt lonely, as I was never alone! He didn’t leave my side, and he still never does. He is truly a loyal companion and he changed my life for the better.
I never realized how much of an impact an animal could have on my life, but Taco saved me. He taught me responsibility, and how to care for myself so that I can care for another. He gave me a reason to get out of bed and to get out of the house. He made me smile with his goofiness even on the hardest days.

I’ve had Taco for almost a year now, and everything’s the
same. He’s my best friend and we do everything together. We’ve been through some good and hard times, and even when he’s difficult to take care of sometimes, it’s so worth it in the end. I gave him a home and he gave me a sense of purpose in life!
It used to seem so silly to me – how could someone love
their dog so much, after all, they’re just an animal, right?
But now, my eyes are open. Dogs are something special, something you can’t fully describe to someone unless they’ve experienced what it’s like to love and be loved by one. They change you for the better and they stick with you through it all, like a best friend was meant to. They are a blessing in the lives of everyone they touch and humanity is better off with them in this world.
If you’re interested in adopting a best friend of your own, I encourage you to do some research! Check
out other articles on this website that will give you insight into what being a dog owner is like. Life is an
adventure, and it’s way better with a best friend!

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