Missing That Puppy Love

I think we can all agree that one of the hardest things about leaving home is leaving behind a dog (sorry Mom). Our dogs tend to hold a very special place in our hearts that is hard to learn to live without.

Durante's Shih TzuSophomore Danielle Durante left behind Snickers, the adorable little shih tzu, and misses her terribly.

“She’s been in the family for 8 years now, and not waking up to her little face every morning has definitely been an adjustment,” Durante said.

A dog is a big tie to home and can really make one feel nostalgic while away at school, she said.

One of Durante’s biggest concern was that Snickers wouldn’t remember who she was when she came home for thanksgiving break freshman year. But one of a dog’s greatest attributes is their undying loyalty. She says her little pooch recognized her immediately and was overjoyed to reconcile.

Check out this moving video of a soldier returning home after months away from his dog. A few months away at school will feel like nothing!

Unfortunately I cannot promise the same for cats. While I nearly cried at our reunion, my cat Mikey couldn’t seem to care less about my return. In fact, he kind of ignored me the whole time I was home.

Freshman Matthew Kloss left his dog Lola behind, and misses her everyday.

“I miss her cuddling with me and always being there for me when I needed to be cheered up,” he said.

He says he doesn’t Skype his dog because that’s “weird” but he does go home to visit her.

“I actually go home to see her all the time, which my parents really like because they get a chance to see me too,” Kloss said.

Community Project Director for the Woods Humane Society Steve Kragenbrink says he gets a lot of Cal Poly and Cuesta kids coming in to volunteer and play with the animals. He says 85% or more students first look into volunteering because they miss their pets at home, and Kragenbrink says its a great outlet.

“You can come out, spend time with the animals, get your ‘fur fix’ as I like to call it, and we will take care of the vet stuff,” he said.

However Kragenbrink urges students to volunteer rather than adopt because at this point in a college students’ life, it may not in fact benefit the animal.

“Ask any student where they will be in 5 years and they usually don’t know,” he said. “Some pets will live for 23 years, are they ready for that commitment?”

Also, many students balance 16+ hours of class, maybe a job, extracurriculars, and may not have enough time for a pet.

Kragenbrink says coming to volunteer is a much better option and students should really look in to it.

“You get that companionship you’re missing or looking for without the full responsibility of owning a pet,” he said.

He says getting involved is easy. All you have to do is visit the Woods Humane Society website and all of the info is there. They have orientation meetings twice a month but once you are oriented students can take the animals on hikes, to the beach, and even sometimes home for a night, he said.

“Make sure you have enough free time for volunteering,” Kragenbrink said, “There is a training process, you can’t just hit the ground running.”

That being said, for many of us who really miss our sweet lovely animals back home, this is a great opportunity to get your “fur fix” and feel some genuine puppy love.


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