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When I was born, we had a cat named Holmes. He was my dad’s cat that moved in with my parents when they got married. By the time I was born, Holmes was pretty old. But we were best friends. We would lay on the couch together or roll around on my parents’ bed- he was like my animal soulmate. 

When I was two years old, two unfortunate things happened: I went to the allergist and found out I was allergic to cats and dogs, but before my parents could figure out what to do with Holmes, we got the sad news that he had cancer. Shortly after, Holmes passed away. 

Since I was allergic to anything with fur, we did not get a new cat. We actually didn’t get a new pet at all. As I grew up, I harassed my parents for a pet. This led to the years of fish that were ultimately useless and died very quickly. After a few years my mom was done with fish, and we once again had no pet. 

At the beginning of high school, my dad and I finally wore my mom down on getting a bunny, named Thumper. Originally, Thumper was an outside bunny so he didn’t bother my allergies. Then we felt bad that it was so cold out, so we brought him inside. He became an indoor bunny, but it was fine because he was confined to a cage. I love Thumper, but he’s a bunny- we didn’t have the same kind of interactions that Holmes and I had. 

About two years after getting Thumper, my dad and I yet again wore my mom down. This time we convinced her to let us look at purebred hypoallergenic dogs. We went to a couple of places, originally only looking for yorkies, but we weren’t sold. The last place we went to we played with a yorkie, but we hated it. Then, the people there brought us this dog that they said was a havanese. The minute they put him in with us we fell in love- Toby had definitely found us. 

We ended up bringing Toby home. He filled a hole in my life that I hadn’t realized was there. There is honestly nothing better than the unconditional love of an animal. I never had a lot of friends, but no matter what, Toby was my friend. He knows when I’m upset and when I need someone to hold and love. 

Having a built-in best friend in Toby has changed my life. He makes me feel special, important, and needed, even when I don’t feel like I am because I know he always thinks of me that way.

Julianne is a Junior at Adelphi University. She is a mathematics major and in the STEP education program. She is apart of the Her Campus, GSA, and Future Teacher's Association clubs at her university. She likes to write, bake, and travel.
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