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Women’s Best Friend

When classmates find out that I have a dog living in my dorm room, most of them talk about how much they miss their dog and how lucky I am to have mine here. However, there are some that are bitter about me having my dog in the dorms and think it is not fair that I seem to be "above" the rules. They are unaware about how long the process was to get her here, or why she is here in the first place. She provides me an extra boost of motivation and helps me branch out from my introverted ways.

I have a Siberian Husky mix that is six years old. She responds to Ellie and Ellie-Bellie at times, but her Husky shows through with her selective hearing. Although she is six, she is a pup at heart. Ellie is eager to explore her surroundings but can be hesitant when stairs come into the equation. We have been working on her confidence and her training to help her be politer around others, but overall, she is a well-mannered dog.

I do get people who stop me to talk about her or come say hi to her when we are out and about. Ellie adds a whole new level of social experiences that I was never involved in before. I like having my own personal agenda on who I talk to and who I see, but she has an agenda of her own.

There are a few differences that I have noticed with having a dog in a dorm room. I can't live like every other "typical" student. I used to stay out and go to friends' houses at any time. I didn't have to stop and think about how it would impact Ellie. Thankfully, my sisters and friends are excited to have her come along, although there are times when she has to stay home for her benefit.

Having Ellie around also adds a lot of accountability to my life: I must let her out every morning. Yes, even when it is cold, when it is rainy, when it is hot. I have to take her out multiple times a day, so she can get some fresh air and go to the bathroom. She is a responsibility that most college students living in the dorms don't have. She does like to snuggle in the mornings though, which is nice if I get sick or struggle to drag myself out of bed.

I am also held accountable for Ellie’s health. Ellie has very different needs from a college kid. She has moments where she needs to run around in the middle of the night because of her zoomies, and other times she doesn’t want to go out when I am ready to take her out. Most activities such as feedings and walks happen on her schedule. She makes the calls on whether we are doing something or not.

As Ellie and I have adapted to a single dorm room—a much smaller environment than we’re used to—we have learned how to survive together. Being roommates with Ellie has been a dog-gone good time!

#dog #cuddles #college #stable #mentalhealth

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