I Adopted A Dog In College, Here's What It's Really Like

I Got A Dachshund In College And TBH? Best Decision Of My Life

I don't regret it one bit.

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It started a couple of years ago, I contracted a pretty severe case of puppy fever. Seeing all those cute puppy videos on Instagram and Facebook didn't help the situation. I began to visit home more and more, not just because I could see my family and my boyfriend, but because I could see our family dog. I would spend my weekends taking our little Havanese on walks, feeding her, and just giving her love. When it came time to go back to school at the end of the weekend, my heart would break. I had to leave my little buddy yet again.

After my first year of college had come and gone, I decided that I had had enough. I would make an amazing dog mom and why did I have to wait? I began looking at rescues and shelters around my hometown and doing some pretty intense research to find out which breed would best fit with my lifestyle. I didn't just want a dog, I wanted a happy, healthy dog. I looked at getting a Golden Retriever but quickly came to the conclusion that it would not be happy living the dorm life. I looked at Chihuahuas but soon realized that it would be hard to find one with the perfect personality.

After many months of researching, I finally decided I was going to get a Dachshund. They aren't too big, don't eat a whole ton, love cuddling, but also love walks. I looked at all the rescues nearest to me and finally decided to go through the Dachshund Rescue South Florida. I knew I wanted a puppy so I could raise it and grow with it, so they worked with me and finally placed me with the perfect pup!

Walking my dog around, many people come up to pet her. She LOVES all people and dogs. So many people have told me "I want this kind of dog when I grow up" and yes, you should have a level of maturity to own a dog because it is a living thing with needs and a personality, but I don't regret getting my dog while being in college at all. Having a dog to come home to after class and walk around and play with is one of the best things ever, I do regard it as the best decision of my life.

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5 Ways Impulsively Getting A Dog Saved My Mental Health

Those four paws are good for a lot more than just face kisses.

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Shortly before my husband and I officially moved out onto our own, he surprised me with a puppy in hand on the morning of our anniversary. Moving out, tackling college, and everything in between, I thought another huge responsibility was the last thing I needed. However, in reality, Oakley, the lab/Australian shepard/collie mix, was exactly what I needed to get back to "me."


He provides emotional support

One of the most obvious reasons is how much emotional support dogs, (and other respective animals) can provide. His paws have been accidentally stepped on, and he certainly isn't a fan of the forced flea/tick medication doses, but less than 30 seconds later, he is without fail immediately by my side again, tail wagging and ready for more kisses. Although he is not trained or certified as an ESA, it's without a doubt he has effectively (and unconsciously) combated random anxiety attacks or feelings of being alone.

He requires being cared for

You'll heavily judge every crazy fur mama, as did, I until you become one. Getting Oakley immediately got me consistently back on my feet and forced me to ask myself, "What does he need today?"Even simple, easy tasks like taking him out to run/go to the bathroom had me excited and forced me to find a motive in the day to day activities. I loved no longer having even the mere choice to be unproductive. Don't want to start your day? Well, Oakley needs his day started, so let's get moving.

He serves as protection

It's no surprise how far a dog's loyalty will go to protect their owner. For decades, specially trained dogs have had life-saving responsibilities assigned to them. Even being married, my husband and I's schedules vary significantly to where it is not uncommon for me to be alone. The slightest sound or shadow from outside our door immediately initiates barking. In the bathroom taking a shower? He's there. Knowing that Oakley is looking out, even when I get carried away with tasks like cooking dinner, always calms my nerves.

He's become something to look forward to

The nice thing about having Oakley is regardless of how my day goes, I know exactly how it is going to end. Whether I passed an exam with flying colors or got the lowest grade in the class, I know what waits for me when I open the door at home. After a long day, nothing resets my mood like walking into a face that is just as happy and excited to see me!

He encourages bonds with others

If you want your social interaction to sky rocket: get a puppy. No, I'm serious. You'll have people wanting to come over and visit "you" (let's be real… your puppy), like it's your last day on Earth. For me, this was exactly what I needed. Getting Oakley had family members constantly checking in to see how he was growing, learning, etc. Not only did this encourage more interactions with family and friends, but it also "livened" my husband and I's home life. Instead of the "normal" weekend nights consisting of Netflix and MarioKart, (which are enjoyable in their own respective ways), spending our nights playing Monkey in the Middle with our new four-legged friend has proven much more entertaining.

So ideally was it the right time to get a dog? Probably not. However, adding Oakley to my small little family combated anxiety and depression in ways I wouldn't have ever thought possible.

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10 Pet Instagrams You Need To Be Following

Let's be real, they're more famous than we'll ever be.

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Almost everyone has contemplated making their pet an Instagram page in attempts to become Instagram famous, but what makes these animal's grams all the rage? Is it their beautiful appearance? Their cute personalities? Maybe even the message they're trying to get across? Here are ten different pet Instagrams that you need to be following this instant!

1. @ofsds

Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary might be the purest pet Instagram account out there. All animals one day must grow old and Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary is a nonprofit organization that gives senior dogs a place to live and enjoy the time they have before they cross over the rainbow bridge. Their account spreads positivity and love for all dogs of all ages, sizes, and abilities. It's hard not to get attached to the myriad of dogs that live at the sanctuary! Whether they're sleeping inside or basking in the sun on their deck, all of the pups at OFSDS are full of life and love, and some of them are even up for adoption to those in the Tennesee area! In all, OFSDS takes the number one spot as the best pet account to follow due to its positive image on senior dogs and the positivity it shares to the world.

2. @smoothiethecat (& @milkshake.thecat)

Smoothie the Cat, also known as the Queen of Fluff and quite frankly Instagram, rules the platform no doubt about it. She's known for her luxurious fur and her bright green eyes that could make anyone, even dog people, bow down before her. She might be tiny, but her personality isn't one to mess with, Smoothie no doubt deserves all of the 1.8 million followers she has. Not only does Smoothie rule the 'gram, but she also has an underrated brother Milkshake who occasionally can be spotted in her photos. Milkshake also has his own Instagram, and even though he has fewer followers than his sister, he's still equally as cute and adorable.

3. @wilfredwarrior

Most famously known for his role in the voiceover comedy skit by Michael Rapaport, he's taken the world by storm. Some may call him the ugliest cat in the world, but we all know that no one could resist that adorable little face. That underbite and those bright yellow-green eyes can't help but draw you in and make you curious to know more about Wilfred and his story. Whether you think he's cute or ugly, he's more popular than most people out there with over 1 million followers!

4. @cockapoomarley

Marley the cockapoo isn't the dog from Marley & Me, but she's just as likely to tug on your heartstrings with every post. Even if in her bio she insists she's only a part-time model, her content would surely disagree. She's a world-traveling pooch that surely knows how to flex on the gram with cute outfits that match the scenery. Her adorable face and her aesthetically pleasing backgrounds are the perfect way to get you hooked on her content, no doubt about it. Marley is the perfect pup to follow for all of your #travelgoals.

5. ​@chicagoblackcat

Mikita and Dahlia are a brother-sister pair that are breaking stereotypes right and left. The two beautiful black cats share their loving and sweet (c)attitudes, proving to the world that black cats aren't bad or evil in any way. Not only that, but they're large advocates for all raw meat diets, sharing the importance of giving cats a meat-based diet rather than forcing them to be vegan or vegetarian. All in all, Mikita and Dahlia are the most adorable pair of cats out there, Mikita is known for his spectacular sploots and Dahlia trying to learn all about her brother's habits.

6. @chinnybunny

Mr. Bagel is a chinchilla that's taking the world by storm! His cuteness and his activism towards making the world a better place is clearly creating an impact in more ways than one. He's against fur clothing as well as makeup testing on animals, fighting for the protection of furry creatures across the globe to live happy, healthy, cruelty-free lives. Whether he's posting the most adorable candid pictures or staged photos with props, Mr. Bagel knows how to help make a difference in the best way he can: being an activist (and being adorable all the while).

7. @pumpkintheraccoon

Pumpkin might not be the stereotypical household pet, but by no means is that stopping her! Rescued, Pumpkin is now living her best, healthy life with her siblings Toffee and Oreo. She's typically seen lounging about her home or snacking on whatever she can find. She's a breath of fresh air on Instagram, whether you're seeing her chilling with her siblings or posing perfectly, she's a showstopper. Her Instagram is filled with life and love, proving to the world that even if she isn't a dog or a cat, raccoons can still be the perfect pet for anyone and everyone.

8. @lecorgi

Marcel the bilingual corgi is truly living the luxurious life, traveling all across Europe is no problem for his four little legs. He's traveled to 11 countries and his Instagram page clearly shows it, sharing pictures of him with the Queen, in front of the Effiel Tower, and of course, holding up the Leaning Tower of Pisa with his snout. Marcel is the perfect pooch to follow if you're looking for an adorable pup who also has some pretty amazing adventures. He's really out here living his best life, and he has no problem showing it to the world.

9. @momosface

Momo's username is exactly what you're to expect when you click on his page. Every picture has the same format of Momo the border collie staring directly up at you, most of the time his comments sharing kindness and love. Even though you might think seeing the same picture every post would be boring, his owner, Andrew Knapp, makes sure to show off his artistic skills and give Momo a different stage each time. Momo even has books for sale that show his amazing adventures around the globe (unfortunately not sponsored). Momo's cute face and wonderful attitude can brighten your day with a single photo, no doubt about it.

10. @mayapolarbear

Quite possibly the fluffiest dog on Instagram, Maya is a dog you can't ignore. Her stark white coat probably weights more than her actual body clearly makes her username all the more understandable, she'd probably fit in perfectly in the artic! Not only is she recognizable by her fur, but she also has a smile that's going to melt your heart. She's got a sassy attitude which can be seen throughout several of her videos which share her (very real) commentary and thoughts. Verified on Instagram with over 1.2 million followers, Maya is a showstopper and is definitely demanding that your finger hits that follow button.

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