Name: Stefanie Aversa
Where you and your dog live(d): Queens, NY
Your current age: 27
Your age when you got your dog: 20
What do you do? (work, school, etc.):
I work at an animal hospital and I'm working towards my vet tech license.
Dog’s name: Bentley :D
Dog's age: Just turned 10 in April
Dog's story (dog's age when you got him/her, breed, when you got him/her, from where):
I got Bentley when he was 2 years old. We adopted him from North Shore Animal League. He was brought up here by North Shore, as he was in a kill shelter in Tennessee. My family and I had just recently lost our German Shepard and it was just so quiet and sad coming home to emptiness. So I convinced my mom to let us go to the shelter, and we left with Bentley! He chose me right away, we took him out to play with and he immediately sat on my lap and claimed me. I didn't let him go from that moment. He sat on my lap the entire car ride home, he had basically claimed me. Ever since then he has been my little shadow, sleeps with me, eats with, goes camping with me...
Why did you want a dog?
I have always had dogs growing up and not having one was killing me. I have a better connection with animals then I do humans.
How has having a dog changed your life?
Completely. I do anything I can for him. We go hiking, to the dog beach, on car rides, camping etc... you name it. He gives me life and and the encouragement to get up in the morning and slay the day. I get so happy to come home to him and I do not care about coming home a little early to take care of him instead of being out.
How do/did you deal with having a dog in your twenties, may it be now or previously? What is/was your daily routine? Any hard times? Unique characteristics about your dog?:
Well my job helps me out a lot, as far as vet bills go, because I work at an animal hospital and get great discounts. Paying for food and medical bills are probably the most straining thing about having a dog, especially for someone who is very tight with money. But paying for him is worth every cent spent. Our daily routine is waking up between 8-9 by either him licking my face or barking in my face. We go out for our morning 15-20 minute walk. In the summer we sit on the porch and I drink my coffee while he sits in the sun. He gets his morning treat. If I have work - He gets walked again as soon as I get home , and then he waits for me to start eating dinner before he eats his dinner (he is a social eater). If I have off that day we go to the dog park or just the park and walk around and say hi to his friends. On the weekends we have a few places we go, the dog beach, walking along the water across from Crocheron Park, Alley Pond Park... We also like to explore new places together :). One unique thing about Bentley as I mentioned before is that he is a social eater. His food is available to him 24/7, but will only eat if I am in the kitchen with him, eating. It's adorable. Bentley has always been there for me during my own hard times, dealing with anxiety and depression, and I don't think I could go through it without him.
What are some of your favorite things to do with your dog?
Napping in the sun together, going to the dog beach and camping.
Does anyone help you take care of your dog while at work or school?
My mom and friends help me if I am going away, and my mom also likes to spoil him and gets him treats and bones etc.
If you are in a relationship, how does your partner feel about your dog?
When I was in a long relationship he and my ex loved each other. Sometimes I think he needs a man in his life haha. Anyone I date must love him and dogs and animals or its a no go.