‘This I Believe’ Essay Series 1

Students in Stephanie Natale-Boianelli’s Composition I classes this fall read essays from the This I Believe project (www.thisibelieve.org) and examined what they revealed about effective writing. Students then wrote their own This I Believe essays.  Atlantic Cape CommuniCator will share some of the best essays.  This essay comes from Sara France, a Nursing major and online Composition I student:

Mastiffs Are the Perfect Family Dog

I believe dogs are an important part of the family. I have had the pleasure of being owned by several Mastiffs ranging in size from one hundred-ten pounds to a monstrous one hundred and eighty-five pounds. Their size and intimidating looking features tend to mislead people into thinking they are dangerous. The sad look found in their eyes can be confused with being unhappy or angry; however nothing could be further from the truth.

To put their size into perspective, imagine one of my Mastiff’s named Kovu, an enormous dog with a square-shaped head. He had big, droopy jowls, and a very muscular body. He could scare the living daylights out of any mailman with his fierce looks, but those who were familiar with him knew he was actually a big baby. He would tower over my three year old daughter while gazing down on her as though she was his reason for living. He was there to protect her.

Guarding their family is a natural instinct for this breed. These dogs are lovable and loyal. Gigantic as they may be in size, the love they give their family is just as abundant. My life has been enriched by their devoted companionship. Another Mastiff I have named Holly comes to the bus stop with me to pick up my children. She sits by my side, no leash required. She waits contently and greets my kids as though she hasn’t seen them in weeks. She enjoys giving hugs and to do that she must stand on her hind legs placing her massive paws on one’s shoulders.

Though they were bred to be guard dogs, they often tend to be couch potatoes. Sleeping is one of their favorite pastimes. Holly can often be found snuggled next to me snoring comfortably on her soft royal orthopedic bed. When Holly isn’t getting her beauty sleep, she likes to eat from her elegantly raised serving dishes. Her consistent devotion to my family earns her nobility in my house. Her majestic and stately demeanor earns her the best food and veterinary care.

One of my favorite things about Mastiffs is that they are always ready to cuddle. All I have to do is mumble cute phrases to them, and they flip on their backs inviting an old fashioned belly rub. When not relishing in a belly rub, Mastiff’s enjoy going for short walks. I am used to seeing heads turn and then hear, “Hey, do you use a saddle for that thing?” I laugh and smile. I love it.

Mastiffs love to be included in family events. My dogs have camped, gone on vacations, visited dog parks, and even ran through the waves at the beach with my kids. They are very calm, and nothing bothers this breed. They rarely bark and require little exercise. They can adapt to any type of living arrangement. They are well-behaved and dignified. I am proud to share my home with one of these gentle giants.

Simply put, I believe that an enormous Mastiff can be the perfect family dog.


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