Dog Breed Bias On Campuses Is Wrong

Dog Breed Bias On Campuses Is Wrong

College's shouldn't be putting restrictions on any type of dog breed, no matter their purpose on campus.

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Here on campus, at Ithaca College, I've been graced with the presence of many dogs and their owners. Our campus partners up with a great, nonprofit program, called Guiding Eyes for the Blind, that allows prepared students to raise and train service dogs until they are ready to proceed further training. A majority of the dogs you will notice on a day to day basis across IC's campus are service dogs in training with their raisers.

Although something you may or may not notice is the breed of the dogs. This is where the breed bias comes into play. The Guiding Eyes for the Blind program, trains Labradors and German Shepherds, but you would never see a Shepherd on this campus. Maybe at Cornell or other campuses, but they are not allowed here. The Ithaca College Policy Manuel states that,

"*The following dog breeds[sic] are not allowed in the residence halls: German Shepherd, Doberman Pinscher, Rottweiler, Pit Bull, Great Dane, Mastiff, St. Bernard, and Wolfhounds, due to their size and/or nature. Dogs above 85 lbs are not allowed.".

Also, according to the college's "Pets on Campus Policy", they do not allow "pets" unless they are service dogs, service dogs in training, on-duty, being used for research, or they are owned by a live-in staff member on campus. The big difference and talking point in this situation are this: if there is a student on campus who brings a dog that is within any of the breeds for themselves that is either in training for trained as a service dog, they are allowed to have that dog on campus. But if you want to train a German Shepherd for Guiding Eyes for Blind, you will be denied.

If one live-in staff member on campus wants to bring their Pit Bull to live with them and another wants to bring their Golden Retriever, only the Retriever will be allowed on campus. The bias here is that only some students or individuals on IC's campus will be granted the approval to bring these breeds that Ithaca College claims are too big or have a bad nature. This not only wrong, in the essence that only some people can have these dogs, but it also reinforces that false idea that these dogs breeds are aggressive and unstable in our environment, which is completely untrue.

Just across the way, at Cornell's campus, you will find many raisers training Labradors and German Shepherds, and you will also find that there is no breed bias when it comes to the dog being in training, trained, or a staff members pet. As an Ithaca Colleg student, I would encourage the campus to take a deeper look and evaluate how they are spreading bias with these inequitable policies.

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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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Dealing With The Bipolar Louisiana Weather, As Told By Coach O Himself

Whether it's figuring out what to wear or dealing with the weather on your walk to class, we've all faced these struggles at some point.

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As you may know, the Louisiana weather this time of year is not the most reliable. On Monday it can be sunny and 82 degrees, and by Tuesday it's freezing and raining. Here are some situations you've probably dealt with at some point or another, told through none other than Coach O himself.

Looking at your phone to check the weather app before you get dressed.

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This is crucial when getting dressed because you never know what weather you should be preparing yourself for. Make sure you look at the whole day's forecast because it could very well change in a short amount of time.

When you walk outside and it's way hotter than you anticipated.

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You instantly start sweating... hurry up and speed-walk through campus to get to some sort of air conditioning.

When you come out of class and the weather has completely changed.

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You didn't anticipate that the weather would be changing within the hour, so you played yourself. You look cute today but when you walk out of class, it's a torrential downpour outside and you have no rain jacket or umbrella.

Being forced to take a shower when you get home because your outfit made you a sweaty mess.

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When you got dressed in the morning, you wore long sleeves and pants, but now it's 80 degrees so you're sweating your ass off... congrats, now you have to go home a take a shower.

When your friend tells you that "it will probably be nice all day."

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Don't trust them, don't trust the weatherman, don't trust anyone. The weather has a mind of its own and you can't ever really be sure that it's going to stay beautiful outside all day.

When you remember that you left your windows open... and now it's raining.

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Yeah even though it was sunny when you got out, doesn't mean it's going to stay sunny all day. ALWAYS make sure you close your windows or you'll hate yourself when you're sitting in Lockett and your car windows are open across campus.

When you actually planned ahead and dressed in the correct layers.

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Congrats, this may happen to you once in your life (if you're lucky). Sometimes the weather is just nice and sunny and bearable, and you don't have to worry about it screwing up your day.

No matter what the weather is though, Louisiana in the springtime may be one of the nicest things in the world. Throw on some shorts, grab your hammock, and enjoy the weather.

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