“AHHH!” I see him and I scream as my mind begins to race. Look at him over there. So cute. The way he walks, the way his hair blows in the wind. What I wouldn’t give to run my fingers through it. Just to hold him, that’d be a dream. Cuddled up under some soft blankets. My hands caressing his gentle body. His soft, warm tongue on my face... Okay, now I’m crying. God, I want him! I want that dog! But god... I miss my dogs.

It was hard moving 2,603 miles away from my home in Honolulu, Hawai’i and not being able to take my dogs or cat with me. I’m sure many can relate. Even if you’re just 30 miles away from home, if you weren’t able to bring your canine, feline, or other animal best friend with you to college, it’s often a difficult and lonely adjustment.

Before I left for college, I begged my parents to let me bring my dog, Summer, an extremely tiny and adorable, tan miniature long-haired dachshund, with me to Pacific University. She was comfort to me. If I had a hard day, was stressed about school, friends, family, the future, or anything, she was there. I could confide in her. I mean, yes she couldn’t understand me. She couldn’t give me advice, tell me jokes to make me feel better, or anything like that, but she could sit with me, and she would. Sometimes that’s all you need. A comforting, calming presence. To my dismay, the answer to bringing her with me to Pacific was a no. Even if I kept her as a service dog, and it was all fine and dandy while she was on campus, when I came home for breaks she’d have to stay in quarantine. The whole time. That wouldn’t be fair. I get that.

So, I’m here. Just me.

It’s only been a week, but I find myself getting overly excited and emotional every time I see a dog, cat, or even squirrel on campus because I miss my pets tremendously.

It’s comforting to know that I will see them again someday soon, but until that day comes, I will attempt to befriend all other animals I see.

To all you dogs out there, be ready. We’re going to be friends.

To all you people just like me, struggling with the harsh withdrawals of being separated from your animal companion, I feel you. You're not alone. We can get through this together.