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Nov 14 2017
by Thea Toocheck

The 5 Stages of Dog Owners Seeing a Dog on Campus

By Thea Toocheck - Nov 14 2017
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I have a dog named Cosmo (pictured above as a puppy) and I love dogs, so every time I see one on campus I get very excited – but I also get sad because I miss my baby dog! After comparing the struggles of missing my dog while on campus with my fellow dog-owning friends, I have outlined the thought process of a dog owner who sees a dog at school.

1. The Initial Sighting

“OMG IT’S A DOG!” you think, or maybe even yell out loud, as you see the magical creature saunter across your college campus. Dogs are fuzzy and soft bearers of goodness, and this encounter must be magic. What’s its name? Where is it from? You have so many questions, but you’re confident the dog will be as excited to see you as you are to see it. It’s been a long week at school and this dog is just what you needed to make your day.


2. The Frenzied Plan

Now, you must introduce yourself to this dog and you must find a way to let the owner know that this meeting was meant to be. Do you cross the street to see the dog? Do you have to walk faster to catch up to it, or do you have to pretend to tie your shoe so the dog can overtake you? You must overcome every obstacle to achieve your goal. The meeting must seem natural – even though you’re desperate, you can’t come across that way. Can you pet the dog? Real dog owners, ones who want to share the goodwill that dogs emit, should let you pet the dog and even tell you about it, including its date of birth, its personality quirks and its favorite toy.


3. Dogless Despondency

In the midst of petting this new dog, you think of and miss your own pet. This dog is adorable, but yours is the best, cutest, softest, most wonderful dog in the world. You’ve been trying not to think about how much you miss your dog, but this new dog brings back all the memories you’ve been suppressing since the last time you were home – how he runs to you when you walk in the house, the endearing way he flips his food bowl when he’s hungry, the shininess of his big eyes  your dog, after all, is the biggest draw when you visit home and you miss him so much!


4. The Ruff Recovery

For now, though, this dog you’re petting can help fill the void in your heart. Dogs are so pure and this one is clearly glad to see you. And your dog wants you to be happy – after all, he licks your tears away when you cry – so you’re sure he would want you to be overjoyed while petting this dog. You take a breath and try to focus on the current moment and the overwhelming excitement of the dog wriggling at your feet.


5. The Goodbye

The moment comes when the kind dog owner has to be on their way and you have to move on to class. Parting with this dog is hard because it has made you so happy in such a short amount of time. This encounter has made your day — your week, even. As the dog scurries away on its adorable little feet, it leaves you feeling fulfilled and nostalgic. You miss your dog, but the undeniable happiness that all puppies bring has been restored in your life. Remind yourself to keep on the lookout for other friendly dogs around campus!


Everyone knows that dogs are the most wonderful creatures on earth, so next time you see one at school don’t hesitate to go up and pet it!

Lead Image Credit: Thea Toocheck

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Thea Toocheck - Gettysburg College

Thea Toocheck is a freshman at Gettysburg College and plans to double major in English and History. She loves reading, traveling, writing, musicals, and her dog, Cosmo. Thea is also the author of the Transcendence Series and a fan of sleeping, Harry Potter, and anything Disney.

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