Dogs in the dorms

Is there any better feeling than returning home from school—not to see family and old friends—but to visit your dog?

In my opinion, being greeted at the door by my dog as his tail wags enthusiastically and he purges several week’s worth of pent up excitement is one of the greatest pleasures on earth, and I know that I’m not alone in that belief.

It will always be better to collapse into a heap on your couch if a furry friend is there to join you, however owning and caring for a dog in college is no easy task, so occasional trips back home to visit man’s best friend are the typically the best course of action.

Not only do many apartment buildings prohibit the ownership of pets, but even those that do allow it typically charge an additional fee. Purchasing food, toys and paying potential vet bills also adds to the cost of owning a pet. Unfortunately, financial aid isn’t meant to pay for Fido’s new dog bed, so these costs have to come out of pocket.

Perhaps the bigger obstacle that owning a dog in college presents is the amount of time that you have to dedicate to them. While we are going to class, meeting friends or cheering in the Dawg Pound at a Ferris hockey game, dogs are sitting home alone. This is far from ideal, since dogs are so reliant on our company, being that they lack the ability to freely leave the home and meet other canine comrades.

They also need to exercise regularly. Depending on the breed and age of the dog, he or she may need to exercise multiple times per day. While this is no problem to most owners in the warmer months, it can be a lot more difficult to build up the will to take a dog for a walk if the wind chill is in the negative twenties, yet it still needs to happen.

Though it’s also possible to give a dog too much attention while in college. Of course, the dog will benefit from spending time with people, but if a person must ignore academic or work related obligations to care for a dog, then that individual is not ready to balance caring for a pet with the rest of their responsibilities.

If I had my way, my labrador would be in my dorm room right now, but sadly I have to accept the fact that I’m incapable of properly caring for a dog here at Ferris.