Why Dogs Should Go to College

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There are a growing number of colleges who are welcoming in pets along with their students. I can honestly say the nine months here at school could be greatly improved if my dog was by my side. He is my backroading buddy, my furry ear to listen, and my workout partner. He and I are the definition of two broken hearts when we are seperate, and college is a stupid excuse to have to leave your best friend behind.

College students are some of the most highly stressed people. With classes, work, extra-curricular activities, sports, socializing, and homework, the stress never stops. Studies show that the act of petting a dog can actually increase levels of a stress-relieving hormone called Oxytocin. I interviewed Ivy Lyons who lives on campus with his dog about how it impacts his life on campus. One of the responses he gave was, “My counselor and I tackle the concept of my dog as a challenge and a great companion. So, while I think there are days where he is a stressor, he improves my overall quality of life.” Dogs have a way of showing us it’s the little things in life that matter simply with a sloppy, wet kiss.

The college life is ever so busy. Trying to make time to be active can honestly be a hassle sometimes. When I asked GU sophomore volleyball player, Ryan Nelson, if he thought having his dog on campus would help him stay active outside of volleyball season he replied with, “Yes, having my dog would keep me in shape because I could walk, bike, or run with her while meeting my training goals and getting her the necessary exercise she needs to stay healthy as well.” Ivy also was excited to say that he goes on late night runs, and when his dog gets too excited he carries him back to Janssen. What a workout! Not only will your dog love you even more for giving him a walk, but you will also gain those calves of steel!

Lessy. photo: Di’Mond Salmond

College is a great way to meet new people. Admit it, the adorable dog walking by has distracted us all; and we all shuffle our way towards it with squealing noises escaping our lips. If colleges allowed their students to have a dog on campus, people would be more social. “Sometimes I sit on Scott Field and I end up crowded by both students and other dog owners around Greenville!” Ivy explains. Just by having a dog’s leash attached to your wrist is going to guarantee you twelve new best friends… yes, just like Jesus.

In order to be successful in college, we all can agree structure throughout our day is very important. While some people might argue that dogs are too much work, having a dog will improve student’s ability to stay on task and acquire responsibility. Ivy Lyons said he is 100% more organized than he ever expected to be in college. He explains his dog needs walked, and bathed, taking time for him, and so on. I then asked Ryan if he thought having his dog at school would complicate his workload. He replied with, “If my dog, Bailey, was here I do not think she would complicate my workload. She is very easy to take care of; when I might need help feeding or letting her out to go to the bathroom, I would have my roommates to give me a hand during the busy moments.” Being a dog parent is like having a very hairy baby, they require a lot of care and attention and are also very tiring. Though, at the end of the day you wouldn’t want it any other way.

Caitlin Alverson and her dog, Lessy. photo: Di’mond Salmond

Dog’s are the best form of joy and unconditional love we have. As college students we should be able to weigh the pros and cons of owning a pet on campus for ourselves, not the colleges. “I feel a deep love and attachment that I can only explain as euphoric. There’s nothing Epicurus can do that would make me dislike him, nor anything that would convince me to let go of him,” Ivy proclaimed. Dogs provide such emotional support. If our pets can have such an impact on us why do we get so little say in where they can and can’t go with us. “I love him like I love my brothers and sisters: unconditionally.” College should not be a reason to leave your best friend behind. It should be a reason to continue your adventures together somewhere new.

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