While all dogs are pleased with a refreshing nap and food in their bowl, flapping their ears in a convertible, treat-eating with no abandon and a walk around the block with the world's longest leash are all definitely on your dog's bucket list. (PUPket list?)
It is common knowledge that dogs are good, pure souls with the best intentions, but for some stupid and ridiculous reason, you can't bring them to college with you. This means no more car rides when you run to Starbucks (and get a pup cup alongside your vanilla frap), no more walks on beautiful spring days after school, and no more spoiling them with Milk Bones behind your parents' backs.
This is obviously the most tragic and painful part of moving away from home, but in order to squeeze the life out of your last summer before ~adulthood~ I have created the ultimate best friend bucket list. No, you might not get matching nose piercings and try every slushie flavor at Sonic like you would with a human counterpart, but these adventures are going to be some of the best memories you make with your fur baby. Trust me, I know dogs.
1. Eat Frosty Paws.
Frosty Paws are little cups of dog ice cream sold at most grocery stores. I have found them in Wal-Mart and HyVee (more of a Midwestern chain), and I have not met one dog who has not fallen madly, deeply in love with them. The go-to flavor is peanut butter, and on a hot summer day, sitting in the backyard with your pup and a chilly treat is probably the closest to heaven us mortals will ever achieve.
2. Go on a dog-friendly stay-cation.
Research all the dog-friendly places in your city/surrounding cities and leash up your pup for a day on the town. You can stop by the town's local farmer's markets, clothing shops and cafes, depending on where you live. Your dog will get all the pets from strangers and feel so special for getting to venture out and strut his or her stuff. Plus, it's almost a guarantee they won't wake you up to pee in the middle of the night after a crazy adventure like that.
3. Take them on a lavish convertible ride.
I am lucky enough to own a Volkswagen convertible beetle that has come in handy during all of my dog-sitting escapades. If you know someone who will loan you their car (or you can roll down all your windows or play around with your sun roof), make a plan to drive around with your pup. Make sure someone else is there to either drive or hold the leash, don't do your hair that day, and get your selfie camera ready. Your dog will love feeling the wind in their fur, and it will be a joy to watch them pant and smile in the breeze.
4. Go on a big nature adventure.
Dogs obviously love going for long, brisk walks, but sometimes they deserve a little more. Take them for a jog, or depending where you live, on a hike in the mountains or for a dip in a lake. Make sure your dog's health is in prime condition for more strenuous activity, and if you have an old, wise doggo, you can always take a field trip to your local dog park. Even just watching the sunset can be a calm and loving memory between you and your pooch.
5. Have the ultimate puppy photo shoot.
First of all, matching shirts are not required, but definitely an option. Get someone to take some pictures of you and your puppy in your favorite place. Whether that's a go-to play area in the backyard, a favorite trail in the park or side by side on the couch, you'll want photos of you and your pup to treasure forever. I know some dogs are pretty camera shy, but come equipped with tennis balls and bribery treats and know that the results will be worth the torment of wrangling a pupper into cute poses.
6. Make them dog treats with a Pinterest recipe.
This is a nice hiatus from all the activities, because your pup can rest on the cool kitchen floor while you make them a present. If you search "DIY dog treats" on Pinterest, all of your dreams will probably come true. Some recipes include peanut butter while others rely on pumpkin, yogurt and occasionally apples. Find your dog's favorite and work your magic!
7. Let them pick out a new toy at the store.
I already know your dog is a good boy. Or girl. They deserve a new toy of their choosing at your local pet store. Fluffy snuggle toy or bounciest ball on the planet, whatever choice they make will be a good one.
8. Craft with them!
Whether you want to make a picture frame with their paw print on it or paint a picture with paw-stamps, you can make some adorable dorm decor with the help of your doggo. This will be a great way to remember all the good times you've spent together when you move into a new place, and it'll be a memory you make in the process.
9. Practice some dog yoga.
Unfortunately, most dogs can't actually do many yoga poses beyond downward and upward dog, but you definitely can, and they love to try to kiss your face while you're in child's pose. Use this stress relief and strength-building activity to be outside with your dog and giggle through some killer planks.
10) Doggy dip
10. Participate in a Doggy Dip.
A lot of local public pools host Doggy Dips with their nearest Humane Society at the end of their open seasons in the summer. This means people pay a couple dollars to swim with their dogs, and the proceeds go to the shelter. Your fur baby can jump off the diving board, play fetch in the water and splash around with other pups just like 'em. What better way is there to end the summer other than having a literal pool party with your dog and other canine friends?
I know saying your goodbyes when you leave for college is one of life's most daunting and sudden changes, but making really solid and life-changing memories with those you love most will keep your scared, broken parts together like glue once you're on your own. And it just so happens that dogs are those we love most.
PS: Tell your dogs I say hi! And tag @FreshUOnline in your PUPket list pictures!