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Mukwonago High School  student Maria Llantada wrote this essay for a SAVE (Students Against Violence Everywhere) writing contest for National Safe Schools Week in October. Llantada took second place in the MHS writing contest. 

SAVE essay

By Maria Llantada

I like to think of everyone like they’re dogs.

I know, automatically you’re probably thinking, “Jesus, this girl’s an over-confident, arrogant snob who thinks she’s better than everyone else.” But hear me out, because although my statement makes it seem like I am an over-confident arrogant snob who thinks she is better than everyone else, I’d argue that I’m not. In fact I think everyone’s so equal I could be mistaken for a communist. My main point is, I like to see everyone like they’re dogs, and each and every dog is loveable and most certainly should be loved.

If you are a dog lover, or know someone who’s a dog lover, you know that dog lovers over-romanticize and get all giddy and excited over every little (and possibly stupid) detail about their dog. For example I have this friend called Michael who’s crazy obsessed with his dog Chum-Chum’s paws. I was staying in Broadripple, Indiana, 270 miles away from town, and I kid you not Michael had the audacity to call me at 3 in the morning.

“H-h-ey. Hi. What’s up. Jesus, It’s three in the morning. Are you okay? Everything alright? Is it an emergency?”

“Hey Caesar, I have something very important to tell you! Oh my god.I just found the eighth wonder of the world.”

“What in the world are you talking about?”

“The eighth wonder of the world. We were wrong the entire time. There’s not seven. There’s eight.”

“Eight?”

“Yeah. It’s Chum-Chums paws.They smell exactly like Fritos. You seriously need to come over right now and smell them."

I don’t know how Michael discovered about Chum-Chum’s corn chip smelling paws, but when I came back and was forced to smell them, they truly did, indeed, smell like Fritos. For an entire two weeks Micheal posted nothing on Facebook but statuses about Chum-Chum’s paws, which I honestly have to applaud his ability to do that because how can someone squeeze so much juice from such a narrow topic?

Life’s about constant lessons, and despite how irritated and sleepy I was at how life taught me this lesson, I still learned my lesson. The lesson was, you have to get giddy and excited  and almost stupidly celebrate people’s abilities, quirks, appearances, and idiosyncrasies, like the way Michael celebrated Chum-Chum.

You don’t ridicule a dog for being too dark colored or light colored. You don’t ridicule a dog for having marks on their fur. You don’t ridicule a dog for having missing limbs. You don’t ridicule a dog for being deaf. You don’t ridicule a dog for having big paws. You don’t ridicule a dog for being from a certain place or country. You don’t ridicule a dog for having long fur. You don’t ridicule a dog for liking a certain toy more than another. You don’t ridicule a dog for being chubby. You don’t ridicule a female or male dog for being male or female. You don’t ridicule a dog for being to enthusiastic. You don’t ridicule or punish a dog for not being able to understand how to do a certain trick.

In fact, all these things people ridicule others for, (and even more such as religion and sexual orientation) should be celebrated, just as we celebrate and love the differences of our dogs.

The world is dull, pitiful, and bland enough. Let’s embrace the beauty and diversity we all have to offer.

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