Daily Life

Puppy Love

When my family first adopted our two dogs 13 years ago, Sunny and Laddie, they were small enough that my dad woke up one morning to find them sleeping in his boots outside his door. They were tiny, adorable, and with such an incredible amount of energy, you could just about hear the sonic boom as they’d run by. I was 6-years-old and terrified of these bundles of fur that raced around the house in the morning; I’d cautiously creep down the stairs and launch myself on the nearest kitchen chair in order to get out of their way. We stayed out of each other’s way for the first couple of weeks until Allison, who had been holding Sunny in her arms, needed to grab something and in a hurry she said, “Here, take him.” Before I knew what was happening, I was holding Sunny who looked at me with his big puppy eyes. He licked me on my cheek and that’s what did me in. It was love at first lick.

Sunny has been gone for about a year and a half now, but we’re blessed to still have sweet Laddie in our house. He’s the most gentle dog I’ve ever met; when my mom gives him bones at night, he’s so careful to not accidentally bite Mom that he finds the tiniest corner to bite to take it from her, usually dropping it on the floor in the process. He loves everyone so readily, and even tolerates the younger grandchildren chasing him around the house trying to pet his fluffy coat. He loves it when you lay down next to him and stroke his face until his eyes slowly close. He’d be so warm in the mornings when I’d get up at the crack of dawn for seminary, smiling softly as I pet him before leaving.

I took him on a “walk” last night, even though the wind was blowing so hard it looked like I was crying the entire time. We take him on a trail up by my house and let him off his leash so he can wander around on his own, sniffing every plant and flower. Off-roading Laddie. There’s not much excitement to be seen in our backyard and house, so these jaunts outside are usually the highlight of Laddie’s day. There’s a point on the trail where you have to walk through some big rocks that have a lane between them, a part of the trail that never used to be an issue before. I watched Laddie prepare himself to go over and was surprised to see how much had changed since I’d last taken him on a walk. Laddie will always be my baby, but baby’s not a baby anymore. Laddie’s eyes become more fogged every time I see him and his hearing decreases as well. It’s hard not being here with him everyday when I’m away at college. It’s hard not to worry about this precious member of my family.

When people see Laddie, perhaps they only see the aged body that deals with aches and pains and requires about 20 naps a day. I don’t. I still see the exuberant puppy who sprinted around our house, ran circles around our car in the driveway when we tried to leave, and played hide-and-seek with his brother while the family was reading scriptures, distracting us every time. They’re only a part of our lives for such a fraction of time, it seems.
A small moment.

Sunny and Laddie are a part of my family, just as our previous dog Oreo is. They’re not just pets; they’ve got big personalities hidden in tiny bodies who spend their lives giving love. Puppy love.

Dogs’ lives are too short. Their only fault, really.
-Agnes Sligh Turnbull

Daily Life

Blazing Trails

BYU 2010-2011
Expectations:
1. I worried my future unknown room mate would be psychotic, hate me, steal my food, play obnoxious rap music in the apartment while I’m studying, or become so possessive that she would want to kill all of my friends and family so she can keep me to herself. Okay, maybe not the last one, but insert any overused college room mate stereo-type fed to us by the media, and I worried about it.
2. Failure. I knew college classes would harder and so different from high school classes, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to handle the stress and achieve success.
3. My experiences at church would be roughly the same as I had growing up.
4. I love music! Loved it all my life. I thought that that naturally would lead to being a Music major heading towards Music Education.
5. College wouldn’t be as great as everyone told me it would be.
6. I might not make it through my freshman year.
Reality:

1. I had the incredible luck to have this amazing person Suzette Rovelsky for a room mate. She is one of the kindest and most unselfish beings I know. She made the apartment a happy home for us as she ran around singing and dancing to Disney songs, befriending everyone in the area within the first 20 minutes, and by being optimistic and laughing through every trial she faced. Staying up late doing homework together at the kitchen table, growing sillier and more ridiculous as the hours went by are some of my happiest memories from this year. Suzette always cares more about the people around her rather than herself. I wish I could be more like her.

2. College is hard. There were nights where I would stay up for hours on end studying and finishing assignments, wondering how on earth was I going to get everything done. There would be days where I would sit in my room practicing clarinet and seriously considering throwing it against the wall. Those who know me well know that I get stressed about pretty much everything. Yes, I was stressed a lot of the time about how everything would turn out. Sure, a few classes smacked me around and almost broke me, but I didn’t crack and I didn’t give up. Every disappointment I experienced had its purpose and I’m learning that everything doesn’t always turn out according to your plan.

3. Living at BYU, you are surrounded by church members who, for a majority, share your same standards and beliefs. We said prayers in some of my classes and sang hymns in others. All of my classes connected the topic in one way or another to living the gospel, I couldn’t believe it! You feel so connected to Christ and his teachings as you begin to realize that every part of your life can connect to your religion, even Astronomy and Marching Band. College is the hardest thing I’ve done so far in my life but is has also been the most fulfilling because I’m learning to rely more solely on a higher power to get me through my day.
4. Not going into music was incredibly disappointing at the time. It seemed impossible to move past it until that glorious day when I remembered English. It has always been my favorite subject; writing just came easy for me growing up. I’m one of those weird people who actually enjoy citing sources in MLA format. Writing papers is my fun assignment of the day that I look forward to while doing all the other tedious assignments for other classes. The day I started looking at English classes online for next fall was the day everything fell into place. I will always love music and continue to play, but English is where I belong. This is what I’m supposed to do.
5. This past year alone, I went to every home football game including the bowl game and played in the pep band for the legendary Cougar Basketball team, traveling around the nation with my boys during the post-season tournaments. I played incredible music with the Symphonic Band, lived 5 minutes away from my brother, sister-in-law, sister, and best friend from childhood, lived with two amazing people, aced my English papers, spent many sleepless nights with my room mates finishing homework and having a ball, stood in the same elevator as Jimmer Fredette (TWICE!), saw hilarious comedy sketches with Divine Comedy, memorized 35 constellations, reconnected with old friends while meeting new ones, and made more memories than I can ever write down. I’d have to say college was even better than I had ever expected.
6. Here I am on the other side, still standing. Who would’ve thought?