Beagle love

My Puppylove (or better known to the general public as "Joey") has been the furry love of my life for 7 years now. I can recall the warm spring day that I met him in perfect, colorful detail and the very first image of his sweet little face is one of the most cherished memories I carry with me. (It was an important milestone for Clayton, too, because that was the day when he officially became my silver medal.) When I tell other people that Joey's perfect, I don't mean he's perfect in the sense that he's the most well-behaved beagle on the block (far from it, actually. He's rather ornery, loud and ... gassy). Rather, when I say Joey is perfect, I mean that he's perfect for me. Everything about his obnoxiously quirky personality is such a great fit for me, it leaves little doubt in my mind that God always intended for him to be mine.

If you're a regular reader of this blog, my gushing about Joey shouldn't come as any surprise. I'm pretty used to being ridiculed for my obsessive feelings towards him, but as he and I have both gotten older, I'm starting to care less and less about what other people think. If it's weird to love your dog, then I'm guilty as charged. At least you don't see me dressing him in sweaters or carrying him around in my handbag with a rhinestone collar. (But making up theme songs for him and giving him his own Christmas stocking? Yes.)

My love for dogs sometimes makes me question if I took the right career path. Don't get me wrong, I love journalism and am proud to have earned my bachelor's degree in that subject from a Big 10 university, but the longer I'm in the work force, the more I'm realizing that a piece of paper with an official collegiate stamp doesn't make me a journalist any more than standing in a garage makes me a car. In fact, The Daily Beast recently named journalism one of the top 20 most useless college degrees because thanks to the prevalence of blogging and citizen journalism, anyone can say their a journalist. It doesn't matter that I studied media law and have a superb, proven understanding of objectivity, reporting, research, and public relations. Nope. I basically spent about $40,000 for a piece of paper saying I know how to write good.

That last sentence was supposed to be ironic.

It's no secret to anyone that I want to be a writer. My goal is to one day turn these silly musings into an actual book and make a living as a published author. It's actually one dream of mine that I'm not at all embarrassed to admit out loud (unlike my childhood aspirations of becoming a famous singer and the countless afternoons I spent locked up in my bedroom blaring Celine Dion's "It's All Coming Back To Me Now"). And the funniest part of all of this? I don't need a degree to do that.

Several months ago I started following a group on Facebook called the Beagle Freedom Project, a non-profit organization devoted to rescuing beagles from laboratory testing facilities and finding them forever homes.

Um, hi? Yeah, I wanna do something like that. I can't picture something more fulfilling for myself than saving animals from abusive situations and giving them the love and attention they deserve but cannot fight for on their own. If that makes me a crazy animal activist, fine. I'll own that. I'll even get it printed on a t-shirt.

I should have majored in biology. I could be parked at a vet's office right now.

Or, if I majored in exercise science, I could be getting paid to share my love of running and fitness.

There should be an "are you sure about that?" questionnaire handed out in college before you declare your major. Where was that stupid Microsoft Office paper clip when I needed him?

But this blog post isn't supposed to be about regret or the doom I feel churning in the center of my stomach whenever I imagine my future. It's supposed to be a blog post that celebrates my passions and how at the end of the day, no matter what happens, I've been fortunate enough to find what truly makes me happy. Not everyone can say that.

That being said,
“Instead of thinking about what you are going to do when you retire, think about how you can do that now and make a living from it.” - Celestine Chua