While I may be able to speak to my family and friends any day I want to, there’s somebody important in my life that I can’t just pick up the phone and call: my dog. That being said, I can’t ever “talk” to my dog (or at least she won’t respond) and unfortunately, my only real communication with her is when I am with her in person. Sometimes, my mom faces the camera to my dog on FaceTime, but I'm not sure if she's able to recognize me or my voice.
Dogs give people an immeasurable amount of joy. There’s nothing like the feeling of seeing a really cute dog on the street, or petting and snuggling with your own dog (except my dog is 80 pounds, so no snuggling for us). It gives you a feeling of happiness that many other things or people cannot.
Many colleges bring in dogs during exam weeks or for special events to help alleviate the stress students feel. Studies show that playing and interacting with dogs does in fact make you calmer and decreases levels of the stress hormone called cortisol. However, though playing with cute dogs may help temporarily, there is a still a void that only YOUR dog can fill. Everyone thinks their own dog is the cutest, and will go so far as to argue with others to convince them why their dog is superior.
It is difficult going from constantly being surrounded by your dog to only seeing him or her every couple of months. Living in a dorm can be a tough adjustment as it is, but is made even more difficult by the lack of puppy love. Dogs are the only creatures that love you unconditionally. They can’t get mad at you and they don’t boss you around. Truly, their only goal in life is to earn your affection (for my dog, that means petting her incessantly).
Some people even miss their dogs so much that they choose to train service dogs in college. Currently, there is a dog that sits next to me in my health class, but I cant pet it or interact with it because it needs to learn to behave in public spaces. Cruel. I know.
If you’re someone who is missing your dog, you are most definitely not alone. It’s unfortunate that there is no good way to fill the feeling of emptiness living without your dog gives you. Just think about your dog rushing to the door to greet you when you come home. (I think dogs can tell time because my dog cries a little extra when I am gone for an extended period of time.) Hopefully that feeling will carry you through until then.