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How to deal with missing your dog while at college

Homesickness is real, but when it means missing your dog, it gets even more real. It can be hard chugging through p-sets, midterms and general stress without a furry friend by your side.

One of my favorite parts of going home for breaks used to be seeing my dog, Scampers. He was usually too lazy to get up and greet me, but his tail always wagged when he saw me. He would roll onto his side so I could scratch his stomach. I became the queen of belly rubs.

Scampers passed away last year, after living a long and happy life. Being away from your dog, whether they are back at home or in a better place, is not easy. Since then, I’ve found ways to satisfy my love of dogs while maintaining a balanced college life. Here are my tips for what to do when you miss your dog.

Look for dog events

Dogs in the Engineering Quad? If I’m not in class, count me in! You might have been to one of these dog-petting events, which often take place around week 10 and finals week. Just five minutes of doggie time can be enough to make exams seem a little less daunting.

Check out the dogs around campus

You don’t need to go to an organized event for canine company! People frequently walk their dogs around campus, especially on the weekends. There’s no shame in asking a stranger if you can pet their furry friend. If you’re lucky, the dog might even approach you!

Stay busy

A part of me was tempted to write “Keep pictures of your dog” for this one. But actually, having pictures of your pet can make you feel a little more blue. I had a photo of Scampers in my dorm room, but when he passed away, I had to take it down.

Instead, my advice to you is to keep busy with classes, activities, and friends. This might sound like generic college advice, but getting into the natural hustle and bustle of college can make your sadness feel less potent. It’ll remind you why you’re here and what you have to look forward to.

You might still miss your dog, but you will find your own opportunities here; it could be a new class you enjoy or someone you’ve known for a year but are starting to become closer to. To me, that’s one of the wonderful things about college. And as cheesy as it sounds, your dog would want you to be happy.

 

Contact Kristen Lee at klee23 ‘at’ stanford.edu. 

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