The First Dog Day


By Courtney Bothun

The early months of 2015 were rough for me. My family was in disarray, I had lost a good friend, and I felt discouraged and directionless. I started to browse my local animal shelter’s website regularly, hoping their happy adoption stories could help dispel my malaise. 

One day, I opened the page and saw him. 

The shelter had christened him Putty and described him as sweet, mild-tempered, and in need of someone to shower him with toys, treats, and love. True to his name, he stuck to people like glue. I’d never meant to adopt a pet, but I knew right away that I needed him. 

The next day, my fiancé and I walked into the shelter’s cramped front room and asked to meet him. A volunteer led us to a quiet room and told us to wait. After a few anxious minutes, the door opened. He scampered in with his tail between his legs, timid and docile and desperate for affection. 

I loved him before he even worked up the nerve to press his spotty little nose into my palm. When we left the shelter that day, my melancholy stayed behind in the quiet little room where I met him.

VCSU Art on display at North Dakota Museum of Art

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By Morgan Nalley

Valley City State University Art Faculty and an Art Student are exhibiting work at the North Dakota Museum of Art in Grand Forks, ND. The exhibit will be on display “This Week Only” Feb. 5th-12th.

This exhibit is an opportunity to discover new and current artist’s that are working in this region of the nation. The three artists that have artwork on display from VCSU are Art Faculty Karri Dieken and Brock Drenth, along with Art Major Megan Fuller.

Dieken is displaying her digital cross stitch “Kodaka,” Drenth is displaying his painting “Spring Thaw #2,” and Fuller is displaying her lithograph “Tell Me I’m Dead.”

Blinded by the Cuteness

By Megan Olson



I have a love hate relationship with my puppy. I love her because she is adorable, and the sweetest thing on this planet. She is always there when you have a bad day and need something to relax you or cheer you up. She is also there to play and keep you warm at night! I hate puppies because they are stinkers. As soon as you take them outside, they will come back inside and go bathroom on the floor. Then because they are so cute, it’s hard to get mad at them and “teach them a lesson” as some people may call it. The hardest thing for me is figuring out how to discipline this cute little puppy for going bathroom on the floor. She has the cute puppy face that is hard to resist. How did you train your dogs? Did you read puppy training books? I am having a hard time training my cute puppy who I love, and hate all at the same time.

Blue Mango Cottages of Castara

By Emmanuel Joseph


Castara is a peaceful fishing village nestled into the northern coast of Tobago. Whenever I go to Tobago, I always take the winding road to this less frequented part of the island to get away from the tourist crowds. In my opinion, Castara’s best kept accommodation secret is a quaint, wooden cottage built into the cliff at one end of the bay. ‘Blue Mango Cottages‘ even boasts its own private cove where visitors can relax and fall asleep to the sound of waves gently rolling up the sand. If you prefer, you can lay in the hammock on the balcony above the cove and admire the majestic views of the bay. For dinner, simply walk over to the home of whichever of your neighbors who is advertising a meal that night. People will welcome you warmly and usually serve up a delicious combination of the catch of the day paired with local staples. My favorite meal in Castara was peppery jumbo shrimp, a juicy Mahi Mahi steak, and a side of crushed yam. I still dream about it sometimes.

It’s More Than a House it’s Home

By Lindsey White

From the street looking up the long, steep driveway, you see a grey, contemporary form with windows.  The house has a wood exterior that I helped my boyfriend paint with a spray gun and rollers a few years back, and there are some stubborn places that the grey paint has chipped away and the 1980’s brown paint is trying to crawl out. I like to think of the woodpecker holes and minor flaking paint spots as the flaws that make a house more approachable, less cold more lived in.

Inside the house are more geometric angles, from the vaulted ceilings to the sharp right angles of the design, lightly coated in colors of black, white and grey. There are few colors in the bones of the house, but the lives lived within the walls are overflowing with color.  My family is my home, and they have the most brilliantly colored personalities that the color of the walls only makes their love and happiness shine brighter.

Beyond the walls, there are trees that mask the highway which leads me into the world, where, as long as my family is with me, I will be home no matter where I am.

You Don’t Choose Home, Home Chooses You

By Ellie Davis

I didn’t choose my home, it chose me. I‘ve lived in Green River, Wyoming for most of my life. I’ve gone other places, lived other places. I love to travel, but this is home. Green River may not be covered with lush vegetation, but the buttes are spectacular every evening when the sunset lights them up in a myriad of oranges, reds and pinks. The river is calming. The heart of the town is Expedition Island. A one-armed man, John Wesley Powell & crew, set out in rowboats to explore and map the Green and Colorado Rivers, and discovered that they lead to the Grand Canyon. The elements that make where I live ‘home’ though, are my family and friends, candlelight and incense, a cozy fire in the woodstove, midnight tea parties, and music! Live music and artmaking. Deep talks that guide us through the night until dawn. Cats and the dog cuddling up while I read a good book.  The mountain behind the house and the garden and flowers out back in summer. Love. Love is my home. And when I pull up into the driveway home is that sigh of relief that I release to be here.