No need to be in denial, missing your pets while at college is a real thing! Here’s the key signs that you’re missing the furriest part of your family and how to deal with pet withdrawals.
1. Every time you see a dog or cat around campus you can’t stop staring.
I’ll admit I’ve been caught staring at dogs by many owners. Most of the time they just smile at me, but I have received odd looks here and there. But you just can’t help it! Seeing a dog or cat around campus is hypnotizing, I immediately can’t think of anything else but wanting to pet them. These thoughts eventually lead to my dog and thinking about how I wish I could be with her. The best way to cope with these feelings is to approach the owner, if they seem friendly enough, and politely ask to pet their dog. So while walking around campus, keep an eye out for any opportunity to give a good boy a scratch behind the ears.
2. Whenever you FaceTime home you always ask to see your pet.
Sometimes you just have to baby talk through the phone to your dog, you know? Requesting to see your pet while FaceTiming your family is completely acceptable, but in order to avoid any tension I would suggest talking to your family for at least five minutes before asking to hand the phone over to your cat or dog. The key to these exchanges is to include as many nicknames for your pet as possible. Here’s a list of my favorites, please feel free to use these yourself or to take some creative liberty and create your own.
- Baby Girl
- Really Any Food
- Sadie Shanaynay McSpanky Pants (My dogs full name, I named her when I was 8)
One of my close friends prefers to call her dog Swippy so just make sure that you’re speaking from the heart.
3. Pictures of your pet are anywhere and everywhere
Currently a picture of my dog is my phone lock screen, my laptop screen saver, on my photo bulletin board, in a frame by my bed and my bookmark for the book I keep on my nightstand. I would say my symptoms are an extreme case of pet withdrawals, but if your life looks similar to mine, I’m here to tell you that you’re not alone. It’s okay to be proud of your pet and want the whole world to see just how cute they are. Remember, the first step in recovery is acceptance. So accept that you’re a crazy pet owner and proudly show everyone who is (or isn’t) willing to see your beautiful fur baby.
4. When you go grocery shopping you always end up in the pet section somehow.
If this hasn’t happened to you, you’re lying. Especially when there’s a sale going on it’s absolutely impossible to not do a little window shopping. Most recently when I found myself in the pet section I ended up buying my dog a new collar to give her when I went home for fall break. Was it a smart purchase? No. Do I regret it? Absolutely not, she looks great in it and I know for a fact that I’m not the only pet owner who has made these kinds of purchases. Every time I go shopping with my friend (the owner of Swippy) she always makes us stop in the pet section. Most recently she purchased a piñata costume for her dog to wear on Halloween. Was it a smart purchase? No. Does she regret it? Not in the slightest.
5. When ever you go home all you do is spend time with your pet.
When scrolling through my camera roll you can tell when I’ve gone home based on the amount of pictures there are of my dog. Being in college, getting to go home is a rare luxury, especially for us out-of-state students. That’s why it’s so important that every moment home is used to its fullest potential. Make sure to get in as many cuddle sessions as possible and don’t forget walks, treats and playtime! It’s also very important to take as many pictures of your pet as possible before you have to go back to school. This will make the withdrawals back at college easier on you, since you’ll have so many memories to look back on. Plus the more pictures you have, the more options you have for screen savers!
In all seriousness, missing your pet can be tough. It’s not like you can just text them a cute little “I miss you” text. Just know that no matter the distance, they know how much you love them even if they don’t always show it. A pet’s love is undying and their friendship is forever. Just remember that every time you leave for college they’ll be patiently waiting with wagging tails and wet kisses for you to come home.