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Furry Friends

For those of you that know me well… you know that I have a huge love for animals! I’ve always had pets while growing up — rabbits (several!), hamsters, turtles, cats, dogs, frogs… the list goes on and on! We had a creek behind my house and I always came across new creatures that I wanted to be best friends with! For some reason, I loved the name Jennifer when I was little so I named all of my turtles Jennifer and painted the bottom of their shells with a “J” in pink fingernail polish before setting them back into the wild.

I had two pet squirrels at different times in my life… yes… squirrels! Let me stop here for a second and fill you in on the story… my 1st experience with a squirrel was when I was only in the 1st grade. I was in a pink polka dot dress (of course!) walking home from a birthday party. I crossed through my neighbors yard and I heard something scurrying behind me… I looked back and it was a squirrel! I kept on walking and looked back again and noticed that it was following me. I kneeled down, put my hands out, and it crawled into my hands, up my arm, and was perched up on my shoulder! I’m not kidding!! Today I’m actually freaked out my squirrels (in college they were huge and weren’t scared of you and always begged for food!) — if this were to happen today of course I’d be freaked out about rabies… but I was in 1st grade, so naturally, I was excited to have a new furry friend. I crossed the street (with it still on my shoulder!) and knocked on my front door. My Mom answered, screamed, and slammed the door! Mom is terrified of rodents (mice/rats particularly!) and didn’t want anything to do with my new friend. Dad came running out to snap a picture! (I’m still working on finding the picture in my parent’s albums!).

When I was little, my family had an English Springer Spaniel named Winston. We did everything together! I taught him all his tricks, we went hiking in the creek, swimming, camping, sledding, played dress up… he was my best buddy! When he was only 6 years old (my junior year in high school) he developed blood disorder and got really sick, very suddenly. We had him in ICU for several days before we had to put him down. I held him in my arms when it happened — if you haven’t gone through something like this… it’s awful! I’m not trying to bum y’all out! But for those of you that haven’t experienced something like this… I would still recommend you be there for your pet when that time comes to keep your buddy calm and fall asleep peacefully. It was certainly a rough couple of weeks… I always told myself that I would get my own dog as soon as the time was right.

The summer after my freshman year in college… 2 days after being home for the summer… I bought a dog! My parents told me over and over that it was a bad idea as it was a lot of responsibility while in school. But as you know, once I set my mind on something there’s no turning back! I have always wanted a Labrador — a BIG dog that loves to swim, loves the outdoors, loves to play, and is a great watchdog. I only wanted a male dog — I have nothing against female dogs but they have a much different personality than male dogs. I found a newspaper ad for labs in Oilville — a town not too far away from where my parents lived in the West End. He was $200 — what a bargain! I showed up, told them to only show me the boys, and it was love at first sight! He had the most personality out of the bunch and had the cutest face! His Dad’s name was Rascal and his Mom’s name was Allie… so it only made sense his new Mom had to be Allie too! Check out these pictures of his 1st day home with me 🙂

Meet Jackson (Jax!)

Jax has been my best friend, partner in crime, my guard dog, my roommate, and my snuggle bug since the day I got him! He loved college! He lived in a sorority house for two years — he loved to party, LOL! Here are a few of my favorites…

When Jax met Ryan, he loved him from the start! I had never seen him act so “at home” with him. It was something that I quickly noticed from the beginning of my relationship with Ry… so naturally, I had to marry him! Among many other reasons 😉
For those of you out there that don’t own a dog… I highly recommend it! They will change your life!

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  • Catherine Bishop - September 9, 2013 - 3:42 PM

    Again, crying! So sweet and so true! There’s nothing like a dog’s love! So blessed to get to have watched Jax grow up 🙂 Eight years strong 🙂ReplyCancel

  • My Story » Allison Shumate Photography - October 20, 2014 - 10:50 PM

    […] in NYC with his beautiful wife, and I’m a mother to a furry, lovable, goofball, black lab (Jackson!) who fills my heart with so much […]ReplyCancel

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