The hardest part of coming to college for the first time may not be leaving your parents, your house or your friends. For many, the hardest part can be leaving your dog. (Or, for those who aren’t dog people, leaving your cat, or fish or any other furry friend.)
that owning a pet can be good for you, and help reduce anxiety and loneliness. Some UP students don’t wait to graduate, buy a house and get a job before they have their dream pet. Some bring their furry best friend to college with them or adopt pets while they’re still students.
Below are six Pilots who find time between classes, homework and college social life to own a pet.
Gillian & Milo
Human: Gillian Clare, Class of 2020
Pet: Milo, a 6-year-old Maltese-Yorkie mix
Q: What would you say are the pros of taking care of a pet while you’re in college?
Clare: People are definitely more willing to come up to you and talk to you. He’s also really social, so like there are so many positives. You're not alone in your room if you're doing your homework. And like if your dog is snuggly like Milo is, he’ll come up to you, and he’s just a piece of home.
Clare: Definitely, like especially with dogs, it’s the noise. You have to be careful that he’s not too anxious or vocalizing when you're not there, and also the walking. And it’s a financial thing [with] the dog bags. You’re the human, you’re taking care of both yourself and the dog, so you don't want to be skipping meals to give him a meal and you don't want to be skipping time for yourself to give the dog time to explore, and things like that. It’s just about melding your life. So, it can be a bit of a challenge.
Q: What is your favorite memory with Milo?
Clare: He has rain boots for the rain and snow, so it protects his little feet from salt. My favorite memory is, for the first time, putting all four boots on him and watching him walk around the house. It was so funny with the little sounds of clip clopping. It was so funny and so cute, and so, kind of like, pathetic. But it was just really cute.
Allie & Rita
Human: Allie Calaman, Class of 2019
Pet: Rita, a 3-year-old Pitbull mix
Q: How’d you get her?
Calaman: From the humane society in Vancouver.
Q: What inspired you to get her?
Calaman: The dog that was living here before moved out. And it was really sad coming home without a dog.
Q: Those are some pretty big ears for a pitbull.
Calaman: Yeah, that’s why they say she’s mostly a pitbull.
Q: What are some of your favorite activities?
Calaman: She doesn’t like any dog toys. It’s kind of sad. But she loves to go on runs and go on walks, and she likes to get in bed with people and cuddle with them.
Ellie & Hedge
Human: Ellie Jacobs, Class of 2020
Pet: Hedge, a 7-month-old Hedgehog
Q: Why do you love Hedge so much?
Jacobs: Hedge has a great personality and he likes to fall asleep on his wheel, which is super cute. And he’s also litter trained so he goes to the bathroom in cat litter.
Q: How’d you guys meet?
Jacobs: I found him on Craigslist so I got him in Boise, Idaho. I got him when he was six-months-old.
Q: What’s it like to take care of a pet in college?
Jacobs: Well, you know, Hedge is very low maintenance. He eats a Dixie cup worth of food a week, and he eats cat food and he goes to the bathroom in cat litter, so he’s very low low maintenance. And he really loves to cuddle a lot. So, when I go to do my homework, he kind of just sits on my shoulder or does something while I do homework.
Q: How does he cuddle? Because he has spikes, right?
Jacobs: Yeah, so he only perks up like a sea urchin when he’s scared, but other than that he’s pretty relaxed and he just relaxes so he’s not very pokey.
Erica & Lola
Human: Erica Freitas, Class of 2019
Pet: Lola, a 10-year-old cat
Q: When did you get her?
Freitas: We got her at the beginning of the summer. She was Charles’s [Erica’s boyfriend] mom’s cat, but she had to move and get rid of all her nine cats so we took one of them.
Q: Where did the other eight go?
Freitas: They went to different shelters and things like that.
Q: And Lola stayed with you?
Freitas: Yes, because no one would want her because she’s a monster.
Q: Why is she a monster? What does she do?
Freitas: Only bites you when she’s hungry, only in the morning when you’re trying to stay asleep.
Q: What’s your favorite thing to do with her?
Freitas: Laser pointer! She’s a laser pointer cat.
Reeca & Daisy
Human: Reeca Bardon, Class of 2019
Pet: Daisy, a 6-month-old Beagle-Corgi mix
Q: How did you two meet?
Bardon: I decided to get an animal last year when I figured out I was moving into a house. And I was just kind of scouring Craigslist, looking for one in my price range, and found her. The very next day I got home from school, I picked her up.
Q: What do you guys like to do together?
Bardon: We chill a lot. She likes to play. Right now she’s in a chewing phase. She’s teething. We go on walks one or two times a day, too. She loves fetch. Loves to play with her ball.
Q: Is she good at bringing it back?
Bardon: Yeah, she’s actually better at bringing it back when we’re inside than outside. When we’re outside she’s just being all free and just running around and having fun, but when we’re inside she’s like ‘Yeah, let’s do that again!’
Jessica & Kobi
Human: Jessica Davis, Class of 2020
Pet: Kobi, a 6-year-old domestic medium hair
Q: What are some of your favorite things to do with Kobi?
Davis: Play with toys. He likes to go outside in the backyard so I bring him out there. He likes naps, and I like naps. We nap.
Q: What’s his favorite thing to do on his own?
Davis: He meows a lot. He likes to talk.
Q: How’d you two meet?
Davis: I adopted him from the humane society.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about him?
Davis: He’s very sweet. He doesn’t bite or anything so he’s really sweet. He’s traveled across the country with me.
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