When I'm at school, I find that one of the things I miss the most is my dog. You can't talk to your dog when you call or FaceTime home, and technology hasn't progressed far enough for us to be able to interact with them when we're physically miles away. The most we get are photos and videos from our families. But, when a relationship is based almost entirely on physical presence, they aren't always enough.

I begged my parents for a dog for as long as I could remember, and I remember how excited I was when they finally gave in when I was nine. I drove to Long Island, NY from my house in northern New Jersey with my dad to pick him up, and my life has never been the same.

When you give a girl a dog, yes, you give her a pet, but you also give her so much more.

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You give her a playmate. I can't even count the number of times I was bored or stressed out from homework, desperately needing a break, and going into the backyard for a game of fetch with my dog, playing with his favorite toy and watching him slide around on the tile floor, or grabbing the bag of small training treats from the cabinet and teaching him a new skill. He provided a much-needed distraction and some comic relief.

You give her a snuggle buddy. My bedroom at home is conveniently positioned directly above the garage, so it's freezing in the winter. The winter of my junior year of high school, I called my dog upstairs every night as I was getting ready for bed. He would lay on top of my covers as I finished brushing my teeth and made my bed so warm. I would snuggle up to him and we would hang out and watch a tv show before he jumped down and I fell asleep. I'll also sometimes kidnap him when I'm watching a movie on the couch and have him lay in my lap. He's just such a calming presence to have around.

You give her a stress-reliever. It's been clinically proven that petting a dog helps to relieve stress. I would find myself on the edge of a panic with the slew of homework, papers, and tests on the horizon, and taking five minutes to just sit with him and pet him made me so much calmer and more productive. I don't know how I would have gotten through high school midterms and finals weeks without him.

You give her a best friend. I will never get over how excited he is to see me when I come home from school, or how he rubs his face all over the living room couch when I'm laying on it. I talk to him all the time, even though most of the time he has no idea what I'm saying. In the summer we'll go on long walks together, around the neighborhood and down at the beach. He gives the best hugs and always knows when I'm sad or stressed and is always there to cheer me up or keep me company.

Sitting here writing this I'm so excited to get home for Easter break and see him! Dogs really are the best, and I really don't know what us humans would do without them.