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Benefits of Having a Dog on Campus

I don’t remember a day in my 20 years of living when I didn’t want a dog. Unfortunately, in those 20 years I have yet to actually own a dog. But things changed this year when my friend brought Chai, her Shih tzu-Pomeranian, to live with her in Evanston. All of a sudden I had *almost* unlimited access to a wonderful, fluffy, and social dog: basically everything I ever wanted. I was able to walk this fluffball around campus whenever I had time and cuddled with her in bed when I needed to finish up a reading. College life with a dog is great, and here’s why:

 

1. You (well…the dog) will bring happiness to everyone around you.

When I walk Chai around campus, strangers’ faces will brighten up at the sight of the dog skipping towards them.  There’s nothing quite like getting a burst of energy after petting an excited and fluffy pup on your way to a 9am discussion.

 

2. Dogs are great conversation starters.

When you feel like socializing, just take your dog to the lakefill. You’re almost guaranteed to run into students who want to pet the dog, or other dog owners with their own pups who want to hang out. Chai loves humans, so she will happily run up to anyone willing to pet her.

 

3. You will never feel alone.

Not even in the bathroom. The dog will follow you from the kitchen to your bed and even when you need some privacy (like in the bathroom). Living in an apartment with just two other people can be lonely, and when your eating schedules don’t line up, eating a meal by your self can suck. With a dog, I always have someone by my side (even though Chai is only there for the slight chance that I might drop food on the floor).

 

4. Someone is always there to welcome you home!

Got a bad test score? TA not making any sense in your discussion section? Stressed by the internship and job search? Dogs are SO EXCITED to see you step through your door that somehow it just makes everything okay. Dogs don’t care about how you did on your test or whether you feel behind in class. They will love you no matter what (as long as you give them belly rubs).

 

5. Stress-free petting.

There’s nothing quite as therapeutic as petting a bundle of fur. By having access to a dog, I didn’t need to wait until reading week for ASG to bring in therapy dogs to Norris. I brought Chai to a stressful student-group meeting as a therapy dog, and she fulfilled her job. When people wanted a break from working, they’d simply crouch down and pet a happy little Chai. It’s a win-win.

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Grace Choi

Northwestern

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