The Cold Days (Story Part)

Winter. I always wished I could enjoy the cold air more. It would sure have made those long treks easier to bear. Not easy, just slightly less miserable. I know my pup liked it, though, so I tried to keep that in mind when I felt like my eyeballs were freezing from the outside in. 

Cove had had a good little week, seizure free. We walked out to a clear portion of pasture to celebrate with a little game of fetch. It wasn’t much, but those moments were always the most memorable, even if I felt my fingertips turning gray with frostbite. 

The pasture wasn’t ours – in fact, nothing was ours. We were drifters on the run. On the run from ourselves. 

Everywhere we went back then was riddled with NO TRESPASSING signs. We walked where we wanted to walk. I always liked the way the Native Americans felt about the land, that no man could own it. However, I also understood the need for privacy. City people migrated to pastureland more every year. Privacy was becoming less and less abundant. 

We took the risks of trespassing because we liked our privacy, too. Cove and I, we loved our quiet time. Noises gave her headaches and drove me insane. Yeah, we liked the quiet. 

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In that pasture we played fetch for an hour. Cove liked those repetitive games. It made me smile to see her healthy, happy, and playful. It was a simple joy and deserved recognition. Mostly, simple things lose their prominence as people grow up. People take little everyday moments for granted. Not Cove and I. We loved these quiet, playful moments and set out to fill a book with them. 

After fetch we walked. Lots of walking, always. Walking lets us think. We walked through mesquite trees and heavy brush, but mostly it was a walk through clear, open pasture. Cattle grazed as we walked by, not paying much attention to us. Cove is indifferent to cows, luckily. I’ve seen some dogs chase cattle regardless of how much punishment the dogs receive afterward. But not Cove. She’s in her own world most of the time, like me. That’s how we like it. That’s what keeps us sane (mostly).

We came to a wooded area and found a little animal trail leading inside. It was a tight squeeze for me, Cove, and the wagon I pulled around everywhere, but we were used to making things work. The trail led to a little clearing within the woods. I looked all around and saw no signs of humanity or heard any voices through oaks. The trees were pretty thick, giving us a nice little wall of shelter, so I threw down my backpack and began to unload the tent.

Dusk came as I finished pitching the tent. Our little temporary home wasn’t much, but it was sure cozy on a cold evening. Cove laid on her mat next to my cot as I wrote in my journal. I wrote down every good thing that happened to us that day. Sometimes good things are hard to find, but mostly good things pop out easily. I just had to learn how to see them, how to appreciate them. 

I wrapped up my journal as the final glimpse of sunlight disappeared below the horizon. I mixed a can of dog food with Cove’s medications and opened a can of beans for myself as she ate greedily. Dinner in the dark.

It made no sense – us being out there, in the cold, eating from cans in the dark. I guess we just grew tired of doing things because they made sense to do so. We figured it was time to start doing more of what made no sense at all. In that way, nonsense became the most reasonable aspect of our lives. It was free. We were free – free of all the norms and expectations. Because of that, we were happy. Everything we owned fit in my backpack and wagon. We had each other and really, we had everything we could ever need. 

Out there, we were safe. Once people found out what I was, they came in droves. They came after me. So Cove and I had been on the run ever since. They’d never find us. They moved on with life and in a few years they forgot I ever existed. Cove and I just had to wait out the time in isolation. Honestly, I grew to prefer solitude quickly. 

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This is Why Pets Are Better Than Friends

Loneliness can be a harmful feeling for anyone across all walks of life. Most of the time when loneliness hits, the first thought is that it might be a good idea to go out and meet new people or form new friendships. However, sometimes the best kind of new friend isn’t human at all. When craving companionship, instead of hanging around local places to pick up new acquaintances, head out to the local animal shelter and consider adopting a furry friend to curve the aches of feeling alone.

Here are six reasons why pets are better than friends.

1 – With a pet, you’ll never have any drama between the two of you.

Unless you consider the potential destruction of furniture and other household items “drama” you aren’t likely to experience any from your pet. These beautiful creatures live each day like it’s their only day to exist. They aren’t going to dwell on the past or care what happened just five minutes ago. They couldn’t care less whose boyfriend you stole last year or that you were the only family member to not chip in for your father’s birthday gift. None of the petty situations in life matter to your pets, creating a drama free environment for you to live in.

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2 – Your pet will never leave you.

It can be extremely painful to lose a friend when he/she leaves town or just stops communicating all together. A pet will never do this because a) it’s probably trapped in a fence or house, but also because b) it loves its owner unconditionally.

It relies on the caregiver for companionship, food, and water and will be eternally grateful for these selfless services. It will never take off to another state for a job opportunity, clean out its closet to go take care of its sick relative, or grow tired of you and leave without notice. After adopting a pet, the worry that the new trusty companion might leave will never be an issue. It will be faithful and loyal until the very end.

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3 – Your pet absolutely depends on you.

The feeling of not being needed by our friends can cause serious self-worth, value, and esteem issues. A pet, however, will forever be alive due to the loving hands of its owner. It will need you from day one until your time together comes to a close. You are the most important person on the planet to your furry friends. Being valued can make anyone feel needed and necessary.

4 – Your pet will always be excited to see you.

It’s the best part of the work day when you’re free to go home and excite the senses of your eager pet. It will run to the door to greet you with a wagging tail, meowing voice, or a purring belly. Whether you are gone two minutes or two days, you can look forward to that pure, genuine excitement from your pet after being without you for any length of time. Wouldn’t it be nice to know that no matter how bad the work day may be, there will be an ecstatic little furball awaiting your homecoming with kisses and sweetness?

5 – You’re free to speak your mind without fear of judgement when venting to your pet.

Most often when we vent, we aren’t seeking advice or opinions, we just need someone to listen. Your secrets and views about the world will always be safe within the mind of your furry companion. It won’t judge you for feeling angry, sad, or even extremely happy. It will sit there with its sensitive ears and take in every single word you say to it. Who better to spill your darkest secrets to?

6 – Pets are not materialistic and will never ask for too much.

Friends might only hang around as long as you are the one paying for events. They might not want to hang out with you at all if you drive a rusty car, use a flip phone from 2008, or live in a sketchy apartment. Or your friends might just constantly judge your fashion styles and weird hobbies. You know who will never even care about any of that stuff? Your pet.

A pet can have entertainment for days with a cereal box it pulled out of the trash can. That’s the true meaning of “making the most of what you have.” Feed the pets, give them water, take them to receive annual shots, and spend some time with them – that’s about it. They’re not going to ask for a brand new car, for a fancy dinner, for a cake on their birthdays (of course, you can if you prefer to celebrate the special occasion), and most of their toys can be made from random, cheap items around the house.

No complaints, no snarky remarks, just you and your pet living each day with what you have.


If loneliness is beating down on you each night, stay out of the bars, clubs, and online dating sites. Check out the local animal shelter, save a life, and enjoy all the awesome benefits that come with taking care of an amazing animal. That pesky loneliness will go away and you will secure a lifelong, loyal companion.

Thanks for reading this post. Go make a new furry friend today.


References: Jacobs Bao, K. and Schreer, G. (2016) Pets and Happiness: Examining the Association Between Pet Ownership and Wellbeing, Anthrzoös, 29:2, 283-296, DOI: 10.1080/08927936.2016.1152721 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08927936.2016.1152721>


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