10 Reasons Why You Should Have a Dog in College

10 Reasons Why You Should Have a Dog in College

College can be ruff, but dogs are always there to save the day!

Oh, the great dog debate.

Should you bring your dog to college? Should you get a dog in college? Should you just wait until you have kids? The answer to these questions is up to you, but here's my personal top 10 reasons to have a dog in college:

1. Man's best friend. Literally dogs make you feel like you're the ONLY thing in the world that matters the second you walk through the door. They love you, jump on you and just want to hang with you. Dogs make you feel like a million bucks, especially on those crummy days when you need to feel loved.


2. Cuddle buddy. If you don't have a significant other (or even if you do), pups make the BEST cuddle buddies. They just want to snuggle up close and take a nap. They're also the best listeners... as long as you keep scratching their belly.


3. Play dates. If your friends are busy, dogs ALWAYS want to hang outside. 


4. Halloween costumes. Yes, the ability to play dress up is reason enough to have a dog in college. There is nothing funnier than a dog in a costume. Why? I'm not sure. Don't believe me? Go look up dog's in costumes. 


5. Excuse for solo walks. When you aren't a runner but want to get some outdoor exercise, it can be a little awkward walking solo-style. But with a dog, no one ever questions you. Your dog must be walked, right?  

6. Meet your future spouse. If a guy walks a dog, every girl WILL stop and WILL pet the puppy. But it's not just a tool for men. Everyone is a sucker for cute dogs. Just the other day, a guy stopped his car - literally stopped in the middle of the road - to ask what kind of dog I had. Even if the guy doesn't like dogs, he can pretend to be interested just to talk to you.

7. You're never alone. I mean I may or may not have snuck my dog into class using my backpack... and I definitely take her into stores on a regular basis.  I literally never have to go anywhere alone.


8. Excuse to be antisocial (because we all need them every now and then, and we can't blame our parents anymore). "I can't... I have to go take care of my dog."  Then you proceed to ignore your social life and take pictures of your dog in a hammock.

9. Snapchat. 
Seriously though. Funny animal pictures will NEVER be annoying. 


10. Instagram. You know those artsy dog pics rack up the "likes."


...and if you're not a dog person, you can always opt for a Bearded Dragon.
(Hi Sarah and Oscar)

A special shout out to my Pi Phis and their dogs (and bearded dragon):

Storey and Abby DeShazo

Maggie and Brandi Bear King

Gracie and Boots Bower

Sarah and @OscarMeyerDragon Baldwin

And to the one I call "Ewok," "Swamp Monster," "Chewbacca," "Creature," and "Lu," my little diva, Lulu. You've been the weirdest, ugliest, cutest, cuddliest pup to ever walk the face of the earth - even though I'm pretty sure you're an alien.

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New Jersey school board doesn’t care about kids. 

Sometimes I guess you’re better off not saying a word. 

To whom it may concern, 

  I am a 15 year old girl. I have many hopes in dreams for my future and career. I prosper to go to NYU and major in Journalism. When I go to school everyday i’m in an unsafe environment. Since the first week of school I started to get called fat and ugly. I stood up for myself and was threatened to get jumped. I had screen shots of proof that she told me she was going to jump me and her texting the soccer team asking girls if they were willing to jump me with her. Through the 5 months of school i would like to believe i have been to guidance and the office more than i have been in class. They pry on my attention and my friends. If you think going to the office would make it stop you have false intentions. They make that one of there many targets as they mock me. For a while i couldn’t even look at myself in the mirror and want to be alive. They tell me to cry about my problems to my dead father. The deny everything they say even with screen shots and recordings. The school board finally decided to do something after 4 fist fights in a row happened. I get told by the principal that this is my fault and I should have never stood up for myself in the first place. I get followed home from school, they drive by my house. All I have proof of, yet they don’t know when enough is enough. They laugh and get detentions. Every time my dog barks i’m uncertain if it’s just someone driving by or if it is them. You may think that I am over dramatic, of course it’s not them but maybe one day it might me. And who’s from stopping me from kicking there ass? I would love too, but with NYU being so expensive; I need those scholarships. I love to learn,in fact i’m the only one who really answers questions. Now I sulk in my seat and flee when the bell rings. I go to therapy and try my hardest to love myself again for I am broken and don’t know what to do with myself. My mother, she cries as she sees this all unfold and my teachers, had a special meeting so they could learn about the situation and what would happen if they went after me or one of my friends. Being escorted to the bathroom, not feeling safe in a building where I am there to learn and get my education to do something with my life. Yet the school shrugs it off. 

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What I've Learned From Our Family's New Puppy

Living like a puppy is the best way to approach life.

My family and I lost our dog of almost nine years last fall, and it’s safe to say we were all devastated and heartbroken. He was really a great dog. We’ve all kind of had this hole in our hearts for a while but we promised we’d wait until a good time to bring a new puppy into the family. It’s a huge commitment for a busy family, and we wanted to give it some time after the passing of our last dog, too.

We said February would be ideal. But my younger sister couldn’t resist searching and ignored the set date for a puppy. She stumbled upon a rescue group that works between the United States and Korea. And when I first heard this story, I was thinking of some image of a designer puppy from Korea and it seemed kind of weird to me. But when I heard the full story, I knew that we had to have one of these puppies.

The rescue group works to save dogs of all ages and breeds, and even some cats, from a South Korean meat market. Usually, they come over alone, but these puppies were an exception. Their mother was impregnated by two dogs, so they were a litter of seven with five puppies being Wheaton terrier and schnauzer mixes and the other two being schnauzer and German Shepherd mixes. They nicknamed them The Peanuts.

We fell in love with the photos we saw online, but they were in high demand and it was a long-shot. Thanks to my mom, we aced our interview and were given the second pick. Each family who applied had to be approved and then interviewed to have a puppy, and then each was given a number that was the order in which they would pick.

When it came time to meet the puppies, we were overwhelmed but eventually had our hearts set on one of the Wheaton terrier mixes, who wasn’t as jumpy but seemed to be the leader of the group. My dad likes to say he wasn’t needy but he wasn’t too timid. And so, we brought our new puppy Duke home.

Having a new puppy is exciting, difficult, and enjoyable for the whole family. But for me, it feels a little bittersweet because I’m only home from college for a few weeks. Despite how sad I’ll be to say goodbye to Duke next week, there is a lot I have learned from him. And I know that sounds incredibly cheesy, but after a difficult first semester, I’m ready to bounce back and make positive steps in my life. With a few lessons I’ve learned from Duke, hopefully, I can.

The first thing I’ve learned from Duke, as he sleeps near me completely stretched out across his puppy bed, is how important it is to take breaks. Giving yourself credit for a hard day, whether it be gnawing on a bone and practicing “sit” or going to class and studying or working, is crucial. It’s also important to know that rest is a key to being successful and productive. Naps are awesome. Duke demonstrates this well.

The second thing would be to be fearless. A new puppy is learning everything for the first time, and a puppy that has entered a new country is having all kinds of new experiences. I watched Duke learn about TV, rain, and his tennis balls. I watched him learn who we were. Sometimes he forgot, and he thought we were strangers when we came home. But he learned quickly. When we learn, work, discover and go about life, we can experience it all the best like a puppy would — with enthusiasm, no fear, and excitement.

I learned next from Duke that having fun is essential. And while I already know this well, it’s a good reminder. When Duke has lots of energy, he runs like crazy around the house, halfway dragging his hind legs behind him in an effort to speed up. He runs into walls and in circles with excitement over a meal or a toy. He has a really good time and reminds me that while life in college is centered around schoolwork and maybe a job, having balance is important.

And finally, I learned from Duke and from puppies in general that life is precious and should be lived to its fullest. You hear all the time that dogs have shorter lives to the extent that seeing their humans come home overwhelms them with joy and their days are long. I know that I need to be more present, more positive, and more focused on love and happiness in my life. Duke’s focus is exactly that. He shows so much love to all of us and only yearns for that in return. He is happy, present, and excited about living. Seems like an ideal way to live. Thank you for teaching me so much in so little time, Duke.

Cover Image Credit: Sophia Holbrook

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