Going To College Means Saying Goodbye To Your Dog

Going To College Means Saying Goodbye To Your Dog

You will always be my best friend, my goofy good boy.

As I get ready to leave for college, I'm starting to realize more and more just how much I'm going to be leaving behind. I'm going to leave behind my room, my comfy bed and blankets, the soft blue glow of my night light. I'm going to leave behind my kitchen, with the unlimited supply of healthy, (and unhealthy) snacks. I'm going to leave behind my friends, people who've shared with me nearly every memory I have of past year. I'm going to leave behind my family, who've known me forever and know me better than I know myself. It's all got me down, got me wishing for just a few more months of summer with the people and the house I love.

But what's got me down the worst right now is that I'm going to be leaving behind my dog, Lucky.

We got Lucky seven years ago from a rescue shelter. We have no clue what kind of breed he is. He has short fur and he's black on his back and white on his belly, with little spots of brown on his cheeks and two brown eyebrows over his eyes. His ears are floppy and uneven. His eyes are a deep brown. He's a tad chubby, and he can't run very far or very fast, but he doesn't let that stop him when he sees a squirrel or a bunny or the mail lady. He gets the sweetest, goofiest, most infectious grin on his face when he's excited.

In this family, Lucky is without a doubt, the apple of our eyes. He’s always the center of attraction, no matter what’s happening or who’s visiting, and if he isn’t, he whines until he is. So many hours have passed as we’ve told stories about Lucky to all and any who’d listen, while he sat proudly in his favorite spot under the coffee table tearing apart his latest toy, happy that all eyes were on him. We’ve always treated him with respect and love and a whole lot of pampering. Where he started out his life in his doggy crate during nights, he eventually upgraded to sleeping outside his crate, and then to sleeping in a dog bed in the upstairs hall. I wouldn’t be surprised if after I left, my parents upgraded him to the master bedroom.

When he got bored of his regular dog food, we began to mix in different foods, like a chicken strip or some rice for that added, extra flavor. He wouldn’t even sniff his food bowl unless he saw those extra goodies in there. Every day, when my dad returns home from work, he picks up the mail, and our mail lady always leaves a treat for Lucky. As soon as my dad walks in the door, Lucky demands his treat and doesn't rest until he gets something. At dinner time, Lucky takes it as his birth right, as his constitutionally guaranteed right, that he will receive a piece of dinner from the table. If we ever forget to feed him (highly unlikely as he will continue to remind us that he’s there the entire time we’re eating), he sulks the rest of the night. But none of us mind. We all love Lucky.

Lucky is special. He has gotten me through my toughest moments in life. For the past seven years, Lucky has just known whenever I needed him. If I’ve been crying, he shoves his nose into my face to sniff my tears, always making me laugh. He curls up into my lap whenever I need cuddles. He stays away when he sees me angry, and he barks at me when I’m out of control. His face reminds me of where I am, what I’m doing. He brings me back to reality when I've been dreaming. He’s my faithful companion, always ready at my every call. True, most of the time it takes a treat to get him to do what I want him to do, but who doesn’t need a little motivation sometimes? Lucky understands what I need when I need it, and he’s always there for me. And I’m there for him— to feed him, take him out, play with him. Always.

But now, I’m not going to be there for him anymore. He's not going to be there for me.

He’s not going to be there at my every call. He won’t be there to hungrily lap up the egg or bread I drop on the floor when I’m not hungry anymore. He won’t be there to lick my tears away, to cheer me up. He won’t be there to share movie cuddles with, to take pictures with. I won't be there to play his favorite games of hide-and-seek or steal-the-toy. I won't be there to keep him sharp on his arsenal of tricks. I won't be there to take him out on walks, to brush him, to tell him he’s a beautiful boy. It's not like I can text him every day and ask him how he is. And he doesn't understand video chats. The bond between a girl and her dog is incomparable, and if there’s anything at all that’ll stop me from going, it’s my puppy. I'll really, really miss him.

To him, even I though I know he won’t actually read this, but to him, I promise that I will always love you. You will always hold a very special corner of my heart for yourself. Seven years was not long enough, but who says this is goodbye? I can't wait to see you again. When I do, I promise I’ll have a treat for you.

Cover Image Credit: Smrita Gupta

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10 Things Every Crazy Dog Parent Needs For Their Fur Baby

The height of pawfection.

It's no secret that dogs are truly the best creatures on the face of the planet (come at me, cat people), but we sometimes forget amidst our busy lives to show them the level of appreciation that they truly deserve. You know that you deserve to be pampered, so it makes sense that the good boys and girls in your life deserve to be pampered too!

I've put together just a sampling of all the ways you can show your dog that they're truly your best friend, but the pawfect possibilities for your furbulous friendship are endless!

1. The Friendship Collar

What better way to show your friendship to the world than with this beautiful matching collar and bracelet set?! Get it here.

2. Or, for the fancy pup in your life, show them you care with this super boujee Louis Vuitton collar.

The fanciest.

3. Still not enough for the fancy pup? How about this Ralph Lauren sweater for the chilly days?!

It's made of cashmere, and if that doesn't make your dog feel high-class, nothing will.


4. Speaking of cold weather, your dog definitely needs these rain boots, because obviously.

Fashion AND practicality? Please excuse me while I buy them in every color.

5. And if your pup really isn't a fan of the rain, show them you're here for them with this amazing umbrella leash.

I know how much my dog hates rain (and who can blame her--it cuts into her play time!) so this would be perfect for the occasional shower.

6. And when playtime is over and it's time for a snooze, where better to nap than this two-story dog house?

Because a regular house doesn't have enough of a view for your fur baby to protect you. Duh.

7. Of course every dog house is going to need some decor around to complete it--and PopYourPup is the perfect fit!

Because all dogs are art, case closed.

8. OR if you're more into the classic style, check out these beautiful hand-drawn dog portraits.

This cute little Etsy shop mixes two of my very favorite things: my dog and watercolor!

9. Speaking of PopYourPup, every dog parent needs a shirt with A PORTRAIT OF THEIR DOG ON IT.

I. Am. Speechless.

10. And last but not most certainly not least, your dog needs you to achieve the level of extra that can only come from these amazing Corgi cookies.

Corgeous indeed.

Cover Image Credit: Emily Smith

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On Losing Your Childhood Companion

It may take time to heal but the memories will never fade.

They are your first memory, your first friend, and your first love. They are in all of your favorite memories, you get to grow up and mature with them. They stick by you through the hard times, being the one constant you know you can rely on. They know when you are upset, you don’t even have to say one word. Losing them is heartbreaking and possibly one of the hardest deaths you’ll have to deal with, I know mine was. Losing my childhood dog, the first dog I ever owned, was so very difficult. She was the greatest dog anyone could have ever asked for.

I thought it would take years for me to be able to adopt another dog, but I was so lonely without one. It didn’t take years but it did take months for me to be fully ready to care for another animal.

At first, I felt a little guilty, like I was betraying my childhood dog but a wise woman, my sister, once told me that I had this void that could only be filled by caring for an animal. I’m the type of person that receives joy from caring for others, whether it’s a significant other, a friend, or a furry little animal.

I’m happiest when I have someone to care for. So I did it. I adopted another dog, and it was the best decision I have ever made. She brings me pure joy and I’m so grateful that I found her. I will always have 15 years of wonderful memories that can never be replaced with my childhood dog, but now I will have more memories with another amazing dog.

In the end, it may take time but once you are ready, finding a special bond like that again is worth it.

Cover Image Credit: Mariah Fortson

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