I come from a generation that is constantly counting down days until the next big life milestone. If we aren’t counting down to summer vacation, we are counting down to winter break. I used to think that college students and teachers yearned for winter break the most, but I’ve had a sudden change in heart. Pets, specifically my dog Ivory, yearns for winter break more than anyone I know. There are several reasons that make Ivory yearn for winter break.

Reason #1: Her masters come home. With both my sister and I away at college, Ivory is left to a house with just my parents. Occasionally, my sister and I will return for a brief amount of time on the weekend, but this only confuses Ivory more. However, when we return for almost a month long over the holidays, Ivory is in doggy heaven. Both of her masters are home to spoil and play with her for an entire month. Once winter break ends, Ivory returns to a state of depression where she dreams of next year’s winter break.

Reason #2: She gets extra “treaters.” Christmas cookies with her name on them appear on the counter after our annual cookie day has happened. “Treater” launchers arrive under the tree, and she is given treat after treat due to the endless practice runs learning how to operate the launcher. Holiday cooking and baking always leaves for crumbs, meatballs, and slices of bread to be dropped on the floor for her to snatch up. If the cooker or baker is too slow, Ivory even snatches from our hands. Needless to say, Ivory is never hungry over the holidays.

Reason #3: She has more beds to choose from. Although her bed is the queen-sized bed that occupies our “guest” room, Ivory occasionally gets kicked out over the holidays due to actual guests. Don’t kid yourself, she doesn’t sleep on the floor. She is lucky enough to have three other beds occupied by her masters to choose from. In fact, if she’s really having a good day, she’ll work her way to all three beds throughout the night. She’s never a lonely puppy when it comes to bedtime.

Reason #4: She gets to go on more walks. I for one am not much of a walker, but my sister who plays college volleyball is always working out. This constant desire to work out allows for her to take Ivory on endless walks and runs. Ivory might drive my sister insane by biting her leash, running in circles, and catching the scent of an animal and trying to chase it while on the leash, but Ivory is in heaven when she gets taken on a walk.

Although I’m constantly counting down days until the next milestones in my life, I know Ivory is also constantly counting down days until the next time her masters will be home. Winter break, summer break, whatever break it may be, pets and parents, are in heaven when everyone is back in the same house.