‘What I Love’ Wednesday: Being a Dog Mom

Image: Soot Rex

Have you ever heard the infamous expression ‘Who rescued Who?’ ? For those of you who are parents to any beloved animal, then you know exactly what I am talking about.

Here at Fan Fest, we always love hearing stories about what fellow fans of our favorite TV Shows, Movies and other forms of Nerdom love. Now, you get to hear alittle bit about what we love and for me one of those things is Being a Dog Mom.

I don’t even know where to begin with this one! I guess you could say my very first dog was a terrier/schnauzer mix named Bruiser Jones (BJ for short). Well, he wasn’t exactly my dog. He was my grandparents dog but growing up as a young child, I used to love pretending he was mine. I would take him on walks, feed him some ‘special treats’ (sorry mom, I must confess that I didn’t eat all my vegetables growing up!) and play with him for hours. BJ lived on for years and years, until he finally crossed the rainbow bridge at the age of 18.

Flash forward years later to me joining the Army as a Military Police Officer. The first group of people I instantly found myself attached to, were the K9 handlers. Well, I guess you could more so say the dogs than the actual people. (Although they are pretty amazing, heroic beings themselves!) There was just something about the bond between the handler and the dog that I fell in love with, that I knew I wanted to share that same bond with a dog of my own.

A few years later, I got a text message that changed my life. A friend of mine texted me, asking if I was still interested in a German Shepherd. Apparently she found a breeder who had one puppy left and was soon moving to Florida, but she and her husband could not afford to take a puppy with them along with two other adult dogs.

Image: Me & Puppy Soot

So I set out and met this puppy, and the second I saw him I was instantly in love. There he sat, with his ears just starting to stand up on their own. Instantly, I knew I had to have him. Soot became not only my pup, he became my child.

For those of you who have raised a puppy, you know all the challenges I faced. He was a very naughty puppy. For the first week, he insisted on pulling up all the tiles in my parents basement floor. How he manged to do so, still puzzles me to this day. He also destroyed four of the dog beds I bought for him, and completely dug up every single one of the plants in our garden. Suffice to say, there were no home made salads on the menu in my house that summer. I had myself a very intense Marley & Me situation going on here. I could honestly write a book about all of his little puppy adventures. Has your dog ever brought you a snake? Has he brought you three?!

I couldn’t find myself getting mad at him, however, and I blame that adorable puppy head tilt for that! He literally got away with almost anything because of it.

When the puppy stage was finally over, I found myself having to go away for awhile for the Army. One of the hardest things for me to do was looking into those adorable brown eyes and telling him ‘Don’t worry Soot, mommy will be back’. It broke my heart leaving him. I would skype my parents, and every single time I had to see Soot. Seeing him would instantly brighten up my day.

The day I came home was truly one of those ‘Hallmark’ moments. When I walked through the door, Soot was so excited that he was literally howling with joy and he kept kissing me and pressing himself up against me. I honestly don’t know who was crying more, him or me.

Since then, we have been inseparable. He’s now four years old, but age doesn’t mean a thing… he is still extremely stubborn, playful and happy go lucky. I just think he sometimes gets embarrassed when I snuggle with him too much!

So, why do I love being a dog mom? Well, I cannot give you one straight answer to that question and if I gave you every single answer this article would be long enough to be a thesis.

Image: Soot Present Day

Being a dog mom has given me such purpose, and it has made me happier than I could ever explain. I love being a dog mom, mostly because it has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my life and has shown me what true companionship has looked like. Soot has been there for me through thick and thin, and he has displayed incredible loyalty. Whenever I am depressed, he will instantly jump up on the couch next to me and will put his head in my lap as if to say ‘Its okay mom, I’m here for you’.

One of the greatest things about being a dog mom is that I get to watch Soot grow every single day, and the bond and relationship we have can only grow. We spend every day together, learn how each other works and we become closer. He waits all day to see me, protects me from everything, and he has become my entire world.  There is an unbreakable bond between a human and their pup that is just completely rewarding, remarkable and yes… even magical.

When it comes down to it, it doesn’t matter if there was a point and time when he chewed up my favorite shoes… ate half a seatbelt in my truck…or stole the Thanksgiving Turkey (I’m not making that up, he actually did that).

Soot and I have an unbreakable bond, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Image: Soot Loves the Snow!

If you are thinking about bringing a very special pup into your life, I am telling you… it is absolutely worth it, and one of the most rewarding experiences you will ever have. I guarantee you that when you come home after a long day at work, or a bad day at the office or even watching your favorite team lose at whatever the sport may be… nothing will cheer you up more than to come home to a happy, tail wagging, kissing pup!

I am proud to hold the title of a ‘Dog Mom’. <3


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Julia Valenti
Julia recently published her first novel, titled; Anomic. She has a B.A in Communications with concentrations in Professional Writing and Public Relations. She is also in the United States Army Reserves as a Military Police Officer, and is currently in the process of going back to school for her Masters Degree. Some of her hobbies include fangirling, writing, cosplaying with her groups 'Emerald Archers' and 'DC Cosplayers East', hiking and training her German Shepherd, Soot. You can frequently find her at conventions cosplaying as Black Canary or as Hawkgirl with her boyfriend, who does Hawkman and Bane. :)