How to Fill the Dog Void

The Beacon Bolt is a publication of the student body of Northwest Christian University. Growing up, I have had many pets; cats, hamsters, fish, but the one animal that will always hold a place in my heart is a dog. Dogs have unconditional love for their owners and many different types of personalities that can change someone’s life. Throughout my entire upbringing my family has had at least one pet dog, and at one time we had thirteen dogs in our household. I have always been a dog lover and am noticeably happier when around one. Dogs have a way of lifting spirits and bringing joy to many.

On a college campus, stress is everywhere. With all of the work, events, homework, and people around I often long for my dog Lucy and the relief she provides me. Being around a loving spirit is always a great feeling that can surpass the level of anxiety that comes with everyday life. But with the restrictions and rules that come with living on campus, the comfort we seek from dogs is unobtainable.

Now, because I am a crazy dog lady, I have developed a few ways to fill my dog void that comes with living away from home at college.

  1. Volunteer at an Animal Shelter

Now this may be an obvious way to surround yourself with animals, but it can be very rewarding for you and the animals. Finding a local shelter and getting involved can benefit your stress levels, an animal’s life, and build your resume. A few shelters in Eugene to look into include 1st Avenue Shelter and Greenhill Humane Society.

  1. Go to a Dog Park

I understand that this seems a little kooky, but going to a dog park and just watching the happy creatures interact and bound around is an instant spirit lifter. Simply taking in the scenery and getting fresh air surrounded by dogs is a way to fill the void. If you’re brave you can even ask owners if you may pet their dogs. There only a few dog parks in Eugene including Alton Baker Dog Park and Amazon Dog Park.

  1. Go on a Hike

Hiking Spencer’s Butte and Mt. Pisgah is a great way to see lots of lovely dogs! Passing pet owners on the ways up and down I always ask to pet their dogs, and get into some fun conversations with interesting people. This option gives you a fun activity, a chance for exercise, and a guaranteed canine sighting.

  1. Go to a Pet Store

It’s easy and fun! Go and shop around and have the chance to interact with many different types of pets. Stopping into a pet shop can fill any errand time you may have, and provide some pooch encounter. Stop by Wags! Dog Emporium, the Healthy Pet, or even Petco!

  1. Visit Friends and Family that have Pets

Find friends who will let you walk their dogs or even dog sit and hold onto them. Visit friends and take advantage of the time you can have with their pets. Last year I went to Brittany Peterson’s life group to be around her beautiful dog, Stella. From my hound obsession I gained a friend and strengthened my relationship with God.

No matter how strange the activity, find a way to do what makes you happy, even if its walking up to complete strangers and showing their animals some friendly love!

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