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Long Distance Relationships with My Fur Babies

Going away to college, many of us dread the day when it is time to say “see ya later” to those we love. Mom and dad are sometimes difficult to leave as well as our hometown friends, but there is no goodbye more challenging than the one said to four-legged siblings.

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*Flashback to move-in day* I have my bags packed in my car ready to leave and, all of a sudden, around the corner, I hear eight little paws scampering to meet me at the door. No, I do not own an eight-legged creature, but two fuzzy white fur babies who, I know, love me dearly.

If you, too, own a pet, sympathizing with how this departure feels is understandable. Their little eyes are staring at me, begging me not to walk out that door. Or, are they just wanting a treat from me? Let’s go with the earlier thought! Either way, I know that I will miss them more than they could ever miss me.

Now, being away at school, I often experience very strange fur baby withdrawals…

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1. I get an overwhelming urge to pet any dog that is brought onto campus!

It’s almost as if I’ve never before seen a dog, but I know for sure its presence brings me pure happiness.

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2. I draw attention to any dog I see, thus distracting others from actually “colleging”…

Sorry to all of those dogs owners, I am sure you do not want a bunch of germy college students infecting your precious dog with who knows what.

3. I start to pay attention to any animal on campus, including the many squirrels, birds and chipmunks just frolicking around.

This is strange, I know, but chipmunks could easily fit in our dorms… I promise it makes sense if you don’t think about it.

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Despite all of these void-fillers, nothing compares to my two babies… which is why I call my parents to FaceTime them at least once a day!

Now, as with every long distance relationship, there are pros and cons.

Pro #1: Your relationship with your dogs grows fonder by the day.

Con #1: The relationship that is growing fonder for you, may be growing weaker for your dogs… BUT this isn’t always the case! I am sure your dog(s) remember(s) the last treat you gave them!

Pro #2: Distance increases appreciation for those you love.

Con #2: Your lack of presence at home with the pups could make them feel unappreciated. Because who else is going to cuddle up next to them at night? Or be sad enough to need consoling?

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Pro #3: You can spoil them so much more when you visit home than being home all the time.

Con #3: You can’t spoil those babies all the time when at college! Wait, dog treats fit in the mail…can anyone say puppy care packages?

Pro #4: Your fur babies most likely won’t notice any of your weight gain or loss of hair due to the food and stressors of college that other people would criticize!

Con #4: Your puppies get older while you’re away.

Last, but certainly NOT the least…

Pro #5: No matter what, your pets will love your arrival home, making you leaving that much more meaningful because with every “see ya later,” comes an even cuter “hello”.

Overall, I’d have to say the worst part about not having my fur babies at college is my constant stress. There is something about the way your dog looks at you that makes you feel like any problem isn’t too bad after all. Also, being away from your fur babies stinks because, of those of you who have a dog who’s grown up with you, they’re getting to those ages.

In my case, I have two West Highland White Terriers, or Westies for short. I have a 6-year-old girl, Chloe, and a 12-year-old boy, Casper. Because Casper is the older baby, my bond with him is different and, therefore, I worry about him more than my little girl. Well, without getting into details too much, the older little guy recently had emergency surgery while I was at Siena this fall semester. Not being able to care for him has been really hard on me, but he is getting stronger by the day and things are looking up.

So, if you ever happen to fall into my position, remain positive about your pups because each day that passes means you are closer to seeing their cute little faces! The space between makes the meeting that much more worth it. This space helps you appreciate how perfect pups make life.

Could you imagine how much better school would be if everyone could bring their dogs?

Talk about 4.0s all the way! Anyway, next time you start to miss that little mush of yours, learn to appreciate the long distance and know FaceTime with your dogs IS a possibility.

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