Puppy Pros: Getting a Dog in College Isn't All Cons Emily Alford
Hey Hoosiers! It's been a while since I've written for WeAreIU.com, so I wanted to make my October topic interesting. If you haven't already guessed, I'm going to give you the low down on getting a puppy while you're in college. I recently read in another blog post NOT to get a dog while you're in college. There's a huge stigma that surrounds this, and I want to shed some light on the upside of having a dog in college. Read up if you're contemplating getting one of your own!
As a college female, I can say for almost every other college female on IU's campus that puppy fever is real. And it's not just us girls that have it, our male counterparts can be caught cooing at pups too. I mean, let's face it. At one point or another we ALL have made a trip to College Mall to go play with the puppies. Most of us are guilty of making a high pitched noise after catching sight of cute little puppy face on the tailgate fields. And after spending that agonizing year in the dorms with our goldfish, we have, at the very least, had the notion to look for a house or apartment that allows pets. We can't help it. I certainly couldn't help it.
Which brings me to the here and now....in my (first) senior year, writing this post about the pros and cons of getting a dog, while my 4 month old Laila naps at the end of my bed. Today, I'm here to let you know all about these last two months of having a fur baby, and why it's not what everyone thinks it is.
- Contrary to popular belief, having a pup doesn't mean I don't have any free time. I definitely still do. I have roommates and friends who love Laila, and offer to watch her whenever. While I have taken people up on these offers occasionally, the majority of the time, she stays with me. Australian Cattle Dogs are often referred to as "velcro breeds," meaning they don't ever let their owner out of sight.
- Getting a puppy has SAVED me money. Yes, you read that right. Having a dog is a responsibility, and they demand love and attention. But instead of going out the bars, most times I choose to stay home so Laila isn't locked up in her kennel all night. ***Please don't confuse saving money with making money here. Make sure you have the funds to support an animal before you go out and purchase one. A pet is a forever decision, not a temporary fun fix.***
- I make healthier choices. Cattle dogs are high energy dogs and need constant physical and mental stimulation. I make it a point to hit the trails on a run or head out to the dog park at least every other day. This keeps both my dog and myself fit.
- I manage my time better. Knowing that there's a small being with the mind of a toddler running around my house keeps me in check, I don't have time to be lazy! School work and house work actually get done so I can make sure to give my dog the attention she wants and needs.
- It's taught me A LOT about myself. I've learned I'm a patient person. Just like small kids, dogs don't always understand things the first (or second) time they're told. I also realized just how much alone time I need. Pups are needy, and always wanting your full attention on them. It can be hard to give them that when you have a big assignment due in the morning, or need that extra hour of sleep. But at the end of the day, coming home to a wagging tail and those big ears, knowing just how much compassion a dog has for you...that really seals the deal.
As an end note to this piece, I want to stress two things: the importance of spaying and neutering your pets and the availability of loving animals at your local shelters!
Em and Laila
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