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Are You Ready to Adopt a Dog? 4 Ways Having a Dog Changed My Life

Everyone’s seen the picture-perfect day on Bowman Field: clear blue skies, a volleyball game or two, students scattered about studying and lots of dogs and their owners playing catch. It’s pretty much a guarantee that a nice day on campus means you’re going to see at least two puppies around. I don’t know about you, but those sightings tend to make my day. As a certified dog lover, I’ve always wanted to get a dog at some point, but I want to wait until after college and graduate school.

Now you might be saying, “But, MegAnn, this whole article is about having a dog.  How can you write that without actually having one?” The answer to that valid question is that my roommate adopted a dog this summer! Her name is Zara. She’s a nine-month-old rescue, and I love her with all my heart.

Having a dog in our house has definitely taught me A LOT about responsibility and time management in a way that I never really had to think about before, but it’s also been super rewarding. Here’s a list of some ways that living with a dog has changed how I live!

Planning My Schedule

Zara is my roommate’s dog rather than mine, so this is like a trial version of an actual owner’s experience. But, if my roommate has a schedule conflict or is going to be gone one weekend, I have to plan my schedule so that Zara isn’t in her crate for too long. I have to make sure that I’m home enough to feed her, let her out to go to the bathroom, and obviously make sure she gets enough playtime and loving.

My Study Breaks

Study breaks now consist of bringing her outside to play or just cuddling the cutest puppy and showering her with love. Having a dog to love and cuddle when I’m stressed about projects or anything else has been such a great change. It definitely makes me reset my mentality and remember that not everything sucks. It’s kinda hard to be sad when you have a puppy that just wants to give you kisses.

Having People Over

My house has been pretty social this year, and while I love that, having a nine-month-old puppy definitely adds a new facet to having people over. Zara absolutely loves people, but she loves you SO MUCH and really, really wants to let you know. This means that she tries to lick you and be as close to you as physically possible and is generally extremely excited. And this is every time a new person is introduced, or even just walks back into the room. It can be really exhausting trying to corral and calm her, but she is a puppy and has puppy energy. In the end, it means that every social interaction at my house doubles as a training exercise right now.


Napping with a puppy = amazing. Power naps are so much better when you have a cute puppy curled up next to you. The stress relief factor is, like, 10x better.  That’s it, that’s all this point is. 

All in all, living with a puppy has been one of the most rewarding and challenging experiences of my life, and I’m not even her primary owner. I hope this info helps you if you’re trying to decide whether or not to get a dog, but there’s still the most crucial factor to consider: adopting a dog is a life-long commitment for the rest of that dog’s life. Please, please don’t adopt a dog if you haven’t considered how all of the factors will change in your life. Dogs aren’t clothes that you can just return to a store; they’re living beings with thoughts and emotions.

If after all of this you decide that adopting (because adopt, don’t shop) a puppy is right for you, please send me cute pictures of your puppy to make my day better.  Find me @megannkayeh on IG.

MegAnn is a junior genetics major at Clemson University. She is currently part of the Calhoun Honors College, involved in cancer and genetics research, and the events director for HC Clemson. You can find her spending too much time in the life science building, trying to convince her friends to be SFX makeup models, and spending time with her roommates and their dog.
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