The Niagara News is the community newspaper of Niagara College located in Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada. It is created and produced by the students of the Niagara College Journalism program.
Being in college and living away from home, students often find themselves missing your family, friends and, perhaps what is most important, your pets. As my family members are avid dog lovers, our house didn’t seem the same after we had two dogs pass away in less than a year.
In June 2011, my brother bought an Alaskan husky, Wynter, from the SPCA in Orillia. Since I’m allergic to dogs that shed, it was hard for me to come in contact with her the way I would have liked to.
Returning to school for my fourth and last semester, I decided I wanted my own dog. After looking every day on Kijiji.ca for the perfect, small dog, I found the cutest Pomeranian-Chihuahua mix and contacted the breeder immediately.
Not having the money to pay for the dog, I still agreed to meet with the breeder in Vineland later that night while trying to find some way to scoop up $225 to pay for my dream dog.
I got some money, and the little monster was mine.
Dexter, the newest addition to my life and my family, has become the most popular dog in town.
When my roommates threw a party, he was the main attraction. When I take him for walks, every person I walk past says he’s the cutest thing they’ve ever seen.
On a walk in Niagara Falls, I had people videotape him and others pull over to ask about him.
You would think trying to maintain good grades, staying social and choosing to raise a dog would be difficult for a student, but now I can’t really picture my life without him.
There are more positives than negatives.
He wakes me up in the morning. He keeps me active by his needing daily walks, and he gives me the opportunity to learn about putting others before myself and taking responsibility for another.
Having seven roommates becomes convenient when you need a dog sitter or someone to keep him entertained.
That being said, Dexter has become so attached to me that I can’t leave the house for more than 30 seconds without him starting to whine. He whines when I leave for class, when I leave my bedroom and when I go to the bathroom or shower.
After a month, Dexter is 80 per cent house-trained. He is slowly learning what’s not edible. He occasionally finds the need to do laps in my room as if he just ate a bowl of sugar.
Only once have I come home after spending a night out to find my whole wardrobe ripped off my wall and everything I owned piled on my floor.
However, I do envy those moments when I feel as if this little guy would die without me. I’ve never had something need me as much as my little Pom-Chi.
Being a student, I enjoy coming home to something this loving after a long day.
Whoever said college was about drinking and partying should have bought a dog. I’m not saying it can solve all your problems, but it will help you figure out your priorities, give you a new hobby and make a lifelong friend.