A Dog Owner’s Guide to Surviving College

College is such an amazing time in a person’s life. It allows you to expand your comfort zone and discover who you really are. But, if you’re a dog person, it can be hard. Your dog is your best friend, confidant, cuddle buddy, and stress reliever. You feel lost without them.

You’re prepared to miss your family when you leave for college. But, no one prepared you for how much you would miss your dog. You can’t talk to them on the phone or text them if you’ve had a bad day. If you’re like me, you find ways to cope with missing your best friend. And you’ve definitely found yourself doing some of the following:

Pretending everything’s okay. Maybe you bury yourself in your schoolwork, join a new club, or attend every Greek life event on campus. Either way, you try to pretend there’s not a dog-shaped hole in your heart.

Petting every dog you see on campus. I used to be afraid to ask owners if I could pet their dog but now, I don’t even hesitate. I exclaim, “DOG!” every time I see one on campus.

Setting your dog as the screensaver on your phone and computer. This way, every time you check the time, you smile.

My computer screensaver. Image: Courtney Mettler

Hanging pictures up in your dorm room. My dog motivates me to do well in school. I look up, see him, and remember that I’m working hard to

FaceTiming your dog. You pretend to call your mom for an update on the family but after 5 minutes you ask her to put you in front of the dog.

A TIME magazine article claims that dogs can’t recognize their owners on a screen but the tilt of Fido’s head and wagging of his tail claim otherwise. Image: Silver Spoon Taste

Begging your siblings for snapchats of your dog. Filters are encouraged. Motivating captions are also acceptable.

Using snapchat filters on dogs has become popular with teenagers. Image: Facebook.

Volunteering with dogs. My favorite near me is the Greenville Humane Society!

Volunteering at the GHS Puppy Therapy program with Scooter. Image: Courtney Mettler.

Following animal accounts on all social media. My personal favorites on Instagram are: @goldenretrievers, @thedogist, and @puppiesofinstagram.

Constantly googling “puppies for adoption near me.” Petfinder is bookmarked in my computer… Yes, I’m torturing myself.

Wishing you could cuddle with your dog during a stressful week but having to settle for your pillow.

Getting really excited to go home to see your dog. Fall break was invented so you could visit your furry best friend. Plus, dogs miss their owners too!

How a dog owner feels when they come home. Gif: This is Radelaide

Dog owners, deep breaths! You’ll be home soon!

View a slideshow of my flickr!

Photo Credits: Curious Puppy, Facetime Puppy, Snapchat Puppy

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