One of the most difficult parts of college is leaving your family. Add pets into the mix and goodbyes get even harder. Pets are loyal and loving and they don’t mind listening to you vent or cry, they make the best snuggle buddies, they’re completely unaware of all the things you’ve done wrong in the world and they basically adore you just because you play with them and feed them. They’re like the perfect friend. Don’t get me wrong, saying goodbye to the humans in your family is sad, of course, but at least you know that they understand where you’re going and that you’ll be back. But I hate hate hate saying goodbye to my pets. For all I know, my dogs don’t even realize I’m leaving so then when I don’t come back the next day/week/month, what if they think I’m abandoning them? Or worse, what if they temporarily just forget about me!?
Yes, I really do overthink these things and our goodbyes are every bit as dramatic as you’d think they’d be. Anyway, let’s flashback to the beginning of last semester when I was in such a hurry to move back to Madison that I accidently left my house WITHOUT SAYING GOODBYE TO MY DOG JACK. It was heartbreaking because I’d forgotten to give him a little goodbye hug, but by the time I realized it, it was too late to turn around. I felt guilty about it all semester and it made me miss him all the more (but don’t worry, we were reunited over winter break ♥).
For those of you who know the feeling and miss your beloved pets, here’s a few things that will help you cope:
1: Facetime or Skype your family and have them make sure your pet gets some screen time!
2: Buy a stuffed animal look-a-like to double as your non-human snuggle buddy.
3: Volunteer at the Dane County Humane Society! While none of these animals are your pet, they deserve love and attention, too. Plus, caring for and playing with them will make you feel better!
4: Request silly pictures of your pets dressed up on your birthday and for holidays.
So here’s to our non-human family members! We all miss our beloved furry (and/or maybe feathery or perhaps scale-y) friends, but they make going home that much sweeter.