Owning a dog is a huge responsibility. Not only do you have to be prepared to dedicate a lot of time and effort to your new furry friend, but you also need to make sure you're ready for the expenses that come with raising a dog before bringing one home. If you've decided that you're ready to make that commitment, then it's time to figure out what type of dog is right for you.
Before choosing a breed, you have to thoughtfully and honestly assess your needs. Your final decision will depend on several factors, including your lifestyle, how much space you have, whether you have kids or other pets, how active you typically are, and the characteristics you're looking for in a furry companion. We believe in the magical bond between people and their dogs, which is why we're here to help you find the right match, so here are the main points you need to consider.
Maybe you already know that you want a large dog to cuddle with, or perhaps you have your heart set on a little lap dog that you can carry around wherever you go. But if you can't make up your mind, then perhaps a medium-sized dog, like a corgi or a poodle, will be a good match for you.
Breeds of different sizes have different needs. Many small dogs, like Chihuahuas and Norwich terriers, are prone to injury as they're typically quite delicate, so you need to be extra careful with them. Smaller breeds can also be much more sensitive to cold temperatures than larger ones. Furthermore, some dogs can have an aggressive attitude, usually to compensate for their small size, which means that you should prepare for the possibility that you might need intensive obedience training.
Naturally, large dogs, like bearded collies and Great Danes, need more space to move around freely without destroying your house or injuring themselves. Another aspect you need to consider is the dog's expenses. The larger the dog, the more costly it is to care for it. Not only do they need more food and supplies, but the medical treatments and grooming expenses of larger breeds also tend to be more expensive. Training is another important factor you need to keep in mind when considering a larger breed. If you get a big or giant dog and allow it to act like a lap dog when it's young, it will walk all over you when it grows up, literally!
Some dogs are more energetic than others. As the lifelong dog lovers at dogtemperament.com explain, a dog's breed and temperament often determine its activity level. Dogs with an active temperament, such as the widely beloved golden retrievers, tend to get excited much faster than those with a more relaxed temperament. They also need more exercise, so if you don't have time in your busy schedule for more than one or two brief walks a day, then perhaps a dog with a lower energy level, such as a Bichon Frise, will be a better fit for you.
Regardless of the breed you choose, you need to keep in mind that every dog needs regular exercise and stimulation to keep them healthy and avoid behavioral problems that result from excessive or pent-up energy.
All dogs need basic, regular grooming, but certain breeds need it more frequently than others depending on the type of their fur. German Shepards, Siberian huskies, Labrador retrievers, and other short-haired and smooth-coated dogs are major shedders. If you go for a similar breed, be prepared to groom your dog daily to reduce the shedding and, and get ready to do some extra cleaning.
Ear infections are common in dogs with long, floppy ears, like cocker spaniels and basset hounds, which is why they require regular ear cleanings. Moreover, certain types of dogs, like mastiffs and bloodhounds, tend to drool a lot, so you will need to always have a cloth or tissue at hand to wipe the saliva if you go for a similar breed. Also, with these dogs, you'll have to watch out if they shake their heads. Projectile spit is a real thing!
Choosing a dog can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. After all, caring for a living, breathing, tail-wagging creature who will depend on you its entire life is a serious commitment. To ensure a happy life together, examine your current lifestyle, and determine what adjustment you're willing to make for your dog before you bring it home. Consider the needs of your family, the size of your house, and the energy level you can keep up with.
Finally, you should keep in mind that even though dogs of different breeds are born with certain instincts and behaviors, they can learn to control these impulses with positive reinforcement and consistent training. So if the dog you fell in love with is an avid noisemaker, don't let it put you off; you can teach it to be quieter.
5 min read
Except for 16, I have celebrated all of my milestone birthdays in New York City.
I turned 16 in Arnold, Missouri. Arnold is a small town (though not small anymore) 20 miles south of St. Louis. St. Louis is known for the Gateway Arch, a beautiful arch of shiny stainless steel, built by the National Parks Service in 1935 to commemorate Thomas Jefferson's vision of a transcontinental U.S. St. Louis is also known for its custard, a frozen dessert that is so thick, they hand it to you upside down with a spoon inside. Something else about St. Louis you should know is that there is a courthouse just steps from the base of the Gateway Arch where one of the most important cases in history was tried: Dred Scott v. Sanford.
I'm turning 50 during what I define as a miraculous time to be alive.
Mr. Scott was born into enslavement around 1799 and, in 1830, was sold to a military surgeon who traveled back and forth between his military posts in Illinois and Wisconsin, where slavery was prohibited under the Missouri Compromise of 1820. In 1842 the doctor and Mr. Scott both married, and they, all four, returned to St. Louis. Still enslaved, Dred Scott filed a lawsuit against the doctor's wife for his and his wife Harriet's freedom. We don't know exactly why he chose this moment in time to file a lawsuit, however, he did. At the time of filing his, now, famous lawsuit, he was 50 years old. Ultimately, The Scott family did not gain their freedom, but their profound courage in filling this case helped ignite the Civil War and what we would come to know (or think we know) as freedom from enslavement for all human beings. Powerful then and even more powerful now.
My next milestone was turning 21, and I did it in the Big Apple. Having only moved to "the city that never sleeps" a few months prior, I knew nobody except my new friends, the bus-boys from the restaurant I was working at, Patzo's on the Upper West Side. And, yes, pazzo is actually the correct spelling of the Italian word, which translates to "crazy." Trust me we all had several laughs about the misspelling and the definition going hand in hand. I worked a full shift, closing out at around 11 PM, when, my kitchen team came out from the line with a cake singing, "Cumpleaños Feliz." It was fantastic. And the kindness of these almost-strangers was a powerful reminder of connection then as it still is today almost 29 years later.
I design the life I desire and the Universe creates it for me every day. I show up, keep the story moving, and work hard because I am relentlessly devoted to making the world a better place and this is how I choose to leave my legacy.
When I turned 30, I had just finished a European tour with Lucinda Childs dance company. The company had been on tour for months together and were inseparable. We traveled through Paris, Vienna, Lisbon, and Rome. We ate together, we rode on a bus together, we had drinks after shows together, and we even took turns giving company class to get warmed up before a show. It was deeply meaningful and dreamy. We ended the tour back in New York City at BAM, The Brooklyn Academy of Music. It was an incredible way to end the tour, by being on our home court, not to mention I was having an important birthday at the culmination of this already incredible experience.
So, when I invited everyone to join me at Chelsea Pier's Sky Rink to ice skate in late August, I was schooled really quickly that "tour" does not mean you are friends in real life, it means you are tour friends. When the tour ends, so does the relationship. I skated a few laps and then went home. This was a beautiful lesson learned about who your real friends are; it was powerful then as it is today.
Turning 40 was a completely different experience. I was in a serious relationship with my now-husband, Joe. I had just come off of a successful one-woman dance show that I produced, choreographed, and danced in, I had just choreographed a feature film, John Turturro's Romance and Cigarettes, with A-list actors, including Kate Winslet and James Gandolfini, who became a dear friend and had even been on the red carpet with Susan Sarandon at the Venice Film Festival for the movie a year earlier.
And I encourage all women to identify their power and choose to be fully in your power at any age.
This was a very special birthday, and I had, in those 10 years between 30 and 40, come to cultivate very real friendships with some wonderful colleagues. We all celebrated at a local Italian restaurant, Etcetera Etcetera (who is delivering for those of you in NYC — we order weekly to support them during COVID), a staple in the theater district. Joe and I were (and are) regulars and, of course, wanted to celebrate my 40th with our restaurant family and friends. We were upstairs in the private room, and it was really lovely. Many of those in attendance are no longer with us, including Joe's Dad, Bob Ricci, and my dear friend Jim Gandolfini having transitioned to the other side. Currently, that restaurant is holding on by a thread of loving neighbors and regulars like us. Life is precious. Powerful then and today even more so.
I write this article because I'm turning 50, still in New York City. However, I'm turning 50 during what I define as a miraculous time to be alive. And I could not be more filled with hope, love, possibility, and power. This year has included an impeachment hearing, a global pandemic, and global protests that are finally giving a larger platform to the Black Lives Matter movement. Being able to fully embody who I am as a woman, a 50-year-old woman who is living fully in purpose, takes the cake, the rink, and the party.
I'm making movies about conversations around race. I've been happily married for 11 years to the love of my life, Joe Ricci. I'm amplifying and elevating the voices of those who have not previously had a platform for speaking out. I choose who to spend time with and how long! I design the life I desire and the Universe creates it for me every day. I show up, keep the story moving, and work hard because I am relentlessly devoted to making the world a better place and this is how I choose to leave my legacy. Being 50 is one of the most amazing things I ever thought I could experience. And I encourage all women to identify their power and choose to be fully in your power at any age. I'm 50 and powerful. Dred Scott was 50 and powerful. This powerful lesson is for today and tomorrow. We have the power. No matter what age you are, I invite you to use your powerful voice to join me in making the world a better place.