As a child, I always yearned for a pet of my own. Specifically, I wanted a dog.  We had a family dog in my formative years, one who was loyal, playful, and sweet; and I loved him dearly. But he was a family pet, belonging to and equally loyal to all of us.  I wanted a special bond with a dog that was all mine’ and no one elses. A dog that was loyal to me above all else.
 Because I greatly wanted a dog. I decided to do some research and find the best one for me. During my search, I discovered a breed called the English mastiff. I fell in love with it instantly, for its gentle nature, sweet disposition, and massive stature.  Very big dogs were always my favorite, and this breed seemed to be the largest of them all, as English mastiffs can often reach up to two-hundred pounds!  I knew I had to have one, but, as with any pure-blooded animal, the price tag on these puppies was out of my reach.
 and  (A) I began saving my money, and I used that time to research the breed; determined to be the most knowledgeable mastiff owner in the world. (B) I made many trips to the library and devoured every book on mastiffs, or dogs in general, that I could find. (C) Two years passed, and while many kids would have forgotten their goal after so long, my resolve was further fueled by the information I was reading. (D) The more I discovered about the English mastiff, the more I was certain I had to have one. (E) The breed seemed to fit my personality perfectly, almost as if we were made for each other.
 One January, with my 14th birthday looming, my parents told me that they wanted to give me a shock. The entire family climbed into our minivan, and we set off on an adventure that was great mystery to me.  I was thinking perhaps a round of mini golf, or maybe a trip to the movie theatre was in store. Hours later, we were still driving and I was quite confused as to the reason why.
 (A) Eventually, my parents handed me a blindfold and my older brother helped me tie it over my eyes. (B) The van finally stopped and my mom guided me out of my seat, (C) because my eyes were still covered. (D) and  I heard my family surround me and my dad gently removed the blindfold from my face. (E) Standing in front of me was a woman I had never met, and in her arms was the most beautiful English mastiff puppy I had ever seen.
I was getting my dog.  We spent the afternoon on the breeder’s farm, looking at several litters of pups, petting her adult dogs, and learning the ins and outs of welcoming an English mastiff into our life. The breeder was wonderful, helpful, and encouraging.  We were sad to say goodbye when it was time to go, and I was thrilled to be bringing my very own puppy home.
 and  (A) That was the day I met Mollie Mae, the stubborn, hilarious, funny, loyal, and loving English mastiff that graced my family’s lives with her presence for twelve wonderful years. (B) Mollie wasn’t the perfect dog, but she loved me in the unconditional way that seems so effortless to dogs. (C) Mollie ended being a very large dog, weighing about one-hundred and fifty pounds at her prime! (D) To this day, I am always thankful that I discovered that breed, among so many breeds, because it led me to a dog that wasn’t perfect, but was perfect for me.