LONDON (AP) — Britain and the European Union are preparing to head back to the Brexit negotiating table after a speech by Prime Minister Theresa May that received a cautious welcome from the bloc’s leaders. May stressed in her Friday speech that Britain wants to keep closes ties with the bloc and offered to keep paying the EU and following its rules during a two-year transition period after the U.K.’s formal departure in March 2019. EU leaders welcomed the constructive tone of May’s speech, but called for more detail. French President Emmanuel Macron said clarity still is needed on three big issues: the rights of European citizens affected by Brexit, the amount Britain must pay to settle its obligations to the EU, and the status of the border between Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland. “If those three points are not clarified, then we cannot move forward on the rest,” Macron said. Negotiators are due to start a fourth round of Brexit talks in Brussels on Monday. In a blow for May’s government, credit rating agency Moody’s downgraded Britain a notch to Aa2, the third-highest level, citing the country’s debt burden and uncertainty about Brexit.

About a year ago our very trusted babysitter, Patty Sanderson, was looking on Facebook and found a video about a dog that needed to be adopted at the Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter. She let my little sister and I watch the video. After we watched the video we found out that the dog’s name was Dakota. Patty took us to UPAWS to see Dakota. When we got there we went to see the dog kennels. We found Dakota’s kennel where she was laying down. She had surgery about a week before and she was extremely sore and really tired. She got fixed. After our mom came home we told her all about Dakota. My mom said, “Well, we’ll see.”

Not even a day later my dad came home, opened the door of his truck and out jumped Dakota. She jumped out of the truck, ran around the yard and then went inside and went to sleep. Because of her surgery she had to wear “THE CONE OF SHAME,” so she wouldn’t lick her stitches. When she would walk around wearing the cone, she would get stuck on a cupboard and bark for my mom to come and help her.

Shortly after we got her my dad took her hiking with him out at Hogback Mountain with some of his friends. One of his friends also had a dog and Dakota was playing with that dog. Dad didn’t think Dakota would run away if he took his eyes off of her for a couple of seconds. He was wrong. She was missing for a day or two, but a man was driving on the highway and found Dakota on the side and he read Dakota’s dog tag and called us. We were really happy to have her back. She was really happy to be back too.

Dakota is a mix of four breeds: I can’t really remember… something like a beagle and something else, so she’s a mutt. Dakota is black on her back and a little tan on her legs and her feet and belly. She was around 10 or 11 years old when we got her. Which is about 77 years old in dog years. She is now 14, which is approximately 98. She’s an old lady who likes to mess around in my garbage can and has even eaten a couple of wrappers. Once, I came back from a five-day vacation and somebody left my bedroom door open and I found my garbage can on its side and the trash all over the floor.

The reason I love Dakota is because she is just really weird. I can relate. She makes me laugh.

Dakota’s last family left her alone all day. My dad can take her to the office with him. I think it’s important to adopt from UPAWS because the shelter animals are all friendly and really cute. The shelter animals deserve a good home too because they need someone to love and someone to love them.

Editor’s note: Sophia Capuana is 10 years old and in the fifth grade at Father Marquette Elementary School. She loves to swim and hopes to someday compete in the Olympics.

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