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How Getting a Dog Helped to Improve My Quality of Life

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UWindsor chapter.

During the Christmas break, I was given the most incredible gift ever from my dad; the permission to get a dog. My mom, my sister, and I were elated as we had been wanting to get a dog for months after our Yorkshire Terrier passed away. Within a week we were in contact with a breeder, placed a deposit, and got our gorgeous red-haired Irish Doodle puppy.

We have had him for almost 3 months now, though it feels like I’ve had him for years. He’ll wait at the door when he hears the garage open so he is the first thing I see when I get home from school or work. He will also sit in my lap any chance he gets, and while that is very cute, he is about 40 pounds right now and he is getting bigger. He is a big ball of energy with lanky legs and loves to run around!

It wasn’t until one drive home when I was thinking about my life when I realized how much better I have been feeling since my family has gotten our new puppy. The physical, emotional, and social aspects of my life have been so great, which isn’t normally the case during these cold and frigid months. I cannot give my puppy credit for improving every part of my life, but he has helped to improve these factors.

Keeping My Space Clean

As much as I love my puppy, he can be a trouble-maker. I don’t blame him; he’s navigating a new world and thinks everything is a game. When I leave any clothes on my bed, or something unattended on the counter or floor, he is right there to grab it and either play with it or eat it. This has led me to make adjustments. Anytime I am finished using something, I now put it back right away. Clothes and extra blankets are neatly folded up and placed into my closet, loose papers go into my file folders, and any purses or bags I currently have out sit nicely on my desk chair. Doing this has led me to having a much cleaner room. It is nice to come home to a tidy bed with nothing on it, and it is even more nice knowing that my puppy isn’t getting into anything he shouldn’t be.

Making Sure I Stick to a Schedule

I don’t think I need to set alarms anymore since my puppy is a walking clock. Every day he promptly eats his morning meal between 8:00-8:30, and his evening meal between 5:00-5:30. If we are late with feeding him, he will let us know. Sometimes I am so busy that 10 hours can go by without me noticing. By stopping what I’m doing to make sure my puppy gets food, has enough water, or needs to go outside, it’s enough for me to recognize that I should also eat, or get ready if I need to go out.

Staying Active

Every time my puppy meets  somebody new, they always make the same comment, “those are some long legs!”. A puppy with long legs needs to walk…  a lot! He goes on at least two separate 45-minute walks a day, sometimes even  three. That doesn’t even include the time he spends  outside running around in the backyard. He’s probably outside for at least 3 hours every day! Having to walk him means I’ve been exploring new areas of Windsor-Essex County. I’ve discovered lots of new parks and trails. Recently, I discovered that there is a beautiful forest beside the local college that has some pretty twisty trails and interesting structures. Being out so often means that I can easily plan outings with my friends. It can be hard trying to find an entire day where people are available, so an hour or two when I’m already in their area is much more doable. Although it is just walking, some activity is better than none! On those days where I have no interest in going to the gym, I know I can always count on our walks.

Liv Brannagan

UWindsor '24

Hi I'm Liv! I am currently studying Forensic Science at the University of Windsor. I love being outside, going on hikes, kayaking, rowing, and goodness I could just go on and on. I am often listening to music, listening to a good podcast, watching a film, or talking (arguing) about any one of those!