Best of Freshman Writing

Volume 17

Table of Contents

Christopher Young 

Bradley Neighoff 

Chelsea Hafner 

Chelsea Hartzman 

Madelyn Koch 

Kristy Offenback 

Cody Bressler 

Emily Brown 

Ebony Ford 

Steve Hamel 

Daniel MacIntosh 

Chris Watts 

Matt McClure 

Kyley Mickle 

Shatisha Diggs 

Taylor Bury 

Joanna Evans 

Alyssa Gradus 

Cindy MacIntosh 

Abbey Miklitsch

Lisa Morrison

Hailey Schuchart

John Ritenour

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Copyright © 2012 The Pennsylvania State University

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Last updateded July 2, 2012.

Steve Hamel
English 15
PSU – Brandywine

America’s Best Friend

According to the Humane Society of the United States, there are approximately 78.2 million dogs in the country with homes, and 39 percent of the country’s homeowners own at least one dog (“U.S. Pet”). But why do Americans love dogs so much? From the time they are puppies, dogs bark and wreck havoc in every way possible. When they have the smallest opportunity to run off on their own, they take it. They chase cars and wild animals all over the neighborhood. They dig holes, swim, and roll in stuff that they are not supposed to. They shed, slobber, and smell bad too. This may all be true; however, there are reasons why these furry creatures have such a special place in the hearts of millions of Americans. Dogs are the greatest of all companions and are a significant symbol of American society because of their diversity, their willingness to help people, and their ability to bring out the best in people.
    To begin with, our nation’s love and respect for these intelligent and cooperative animals is demonstrated by the countless dogs used as star performers in movies and television shows. From the movies Lassie to Old Yeller to Beethoven, the dogs in these films show Americans that dogs will always be there to protect their owners and give them endless love and affection. Additionally, Clifford the Big Red Dog, a popular, fictional children’s story, is about a dog that shows American kids that dogs can and will be best of friends, and they will always be loyal and helpful to their owners.
    Moreover, other dogs have grown famous not because of television but because of their owners. The Obama family’s dog, Bo, has become quite popular. To see President Barrack Obama and Bo running around together is extremely symbolic. The president of the United States is considered by most Americans to be a serious individual; he is a former senator, former university professor, father of two, and husband. However, to see our nation’s leader running around and playing with his dog, Bo, with a smile on his face looking like he is having the time of his life, proves that dogs bring out the best in people and, to an extent, make them better people in the eyes of the American public.
    For many years, dogs have dedicated their lives to helping Americans at home and overseas. They help in times of crisis to search for bodies (dead or alive) as witnessed after the events of September 11, 2001, and Hurricane Katrina. They sniff for illegal drugs at airports and sea terminals, and they act as mine-sniffing advance teams for our military in Afghanistan. Also, dogs often help the blind move from one place to another safely. People who are paralyzed use dogs to help them with little tasks that they cannot accomplish alone. Dogs frequently visit nursing homes and shut-ins, and they bring joy and excitement to the lives of people who cannot get out of bed or go outside.
    Furthermore, dogs have assisted farmers and ranchers for centuries by helping them drive and protecting their herds of animals. Dogs provide security on the borders of our nation, in important buildings, and even in personal households all over America. They help in rescue missions with police and our military forces and have demonstrated their usefulness and loyalty in both World Wars, Vietnam, and conflicts in the Middle East.
    Dogs help everyone’s well-being. They bring laughter and comfort to millions of Americans across the country. They turn bad days into good when they meet their owners at the door after a long day at work with a big wet, slobbery, but loving kiss, a smile from ear to ear, and a tail that wags so much it knocks everything off the nearby coffee table.
    Furthermore, dogs are the perfect companions. They are “man’s best friend.” They will accompany their owners for a jog through the park, or they will just sit on the front porch and watch the sunset. They enjoy car rides with their owners along with games of fetch. Dogs follow their owners wherever they go; their love and need for their owners are constant. A dog is the most loyal friend a person could have in life, and a dog shows its human comrade this devotion every day.
    America is a diverse country. There are thousands of different kinds of races and religions. As with American diversity, dogs have diversity too. There are tall and short dogs, fat and skinny dogs, long-haired and short-haired dogs. Some dogs are better athletes, while others enjoy lounging around with their owners. Nevertheless, dogs symbolize America’s wide variety of people. America is also a world power: a country that protects and helps other nations in times of need. Dogs, too, symbolize America, for they too have the willingness to help their owners in a time of need.
    As a result, dogs have made their way into the hearts of many Americans, and they have become icons in American society. Who knows where our great country would be today without the help of our furry, four-legged friends? Dogs will continue to show their appreciation for their owners, and they will make them into better people. They will always be “America’s best friend.”

Work Cited

“U.S. Pet Ownership Statistics.” The Humane Society of the United States. Web. 25 Mar. 2012.

Steve Hamel's essay appears here with his express written permission and cannot be reproduced in any manner or fashion without his express written permission.