I would like to take a moment to share that the walls in my half of the room in the Wellness Dorm (I'm still not convinced) is covered in photos of friends, family, and a fine layer of what I'm fairly certain is asbestos and a lawsuit in the making. Anyway. The important thing here are the photos, and in particular, the three closest to my head when I sleep at night. One is of the Gorge. One is of my family. And one is of the late, great Jessie. Jessie was my dog and I loved her to the end. She met her Maker last winter and while I'm sure she had a few bones to pick (no pun intended) with Him, she is, I'm sure, happy and well and with her dear friend Beau. I thought Jessie was really funny. She had a little bit of a bad attitude but in the end she was a good, sweet girl. When she felt like it. Regardless, I thought she was heaven-sent, as I think most dogs are. I love dogs. My favorite publication is The Daily Puppy, I still sleep with my dog stuffed animals. I've always been in the dog camp.

Which is why I sent an email to my sorority's service chair regarding an opportunity to volunteer at an animal shelter that went something like this, "PUUUUUUUUUUUPS ROSE SIGN ME UP I LOVE THE PUUUUUUUPS." It may not be the most professional of messages but hey, niceties pale in comparison to puppy love. I woke up the morning of our service event feeling refreshed and ready to go!* I was alive, awake, enthusiastic, I couldn't wait for the pup fest to start.

We got to the shelter and I was put on dishwashing duty. Big letdown.

I was committed to having fun, however, so I tempered my disappointment at not being immediately showered in the adoration of a dog with the fact that I still was helping the 'lil wups, regardless of how indirectly. This worked for about two hours--listen, there are only so many dog bowls you can load into an industrial dishwasher. I had to put my foot down. That's when I got to walk Harmony, a black lab that had puppies who were all adopted, but she was still waiting. Her enthusiasm to see me almost matched my enthusiasm to see her, which was exceptional. There was a lot of jumping. After we wore her out at the park across the street, we picked up two unnamed puppies of indeterminate breed. They were adorable. Imagine the cutest thing you can think of it. Now times that by 12495874. That's off the charts cuteness.

Surprisingly it didn't break my heart to say good-bye to them, mostly because I knew they would be adopted in a heartbeat by some deserving New Orleans family who probably has an acre on St. Charles and a four-poster dog bed waiting for my little pup. Don't you dare and tell me otherwise.

I have considered at length what it is about puppies and dogs that I love so much. Maybe it's that when they get hot and pant they look like they're smiling at you. And their tongues are really funny, and their fur is soft, and they have eyes that radiate total and complete acceptance and adoration. This must be it. I love unconditional love to an unhealthy degree. No human could ever love another human like a dog loves a human, and honestly that's probably a good thing. In most states it would fall under the stalker behavior category or, in middle school, puppy love. It's all coming together now...

xoxo Lauren

*This is remarkable. One, I never wake up feeling ready to go. Two, we had a jungle themed mixer the night before. You do the math.