A dog is a man’s best friend…or is it?
For some college students, owning a dog can be a hassle, while for others, a dog can be a relief from everyday stress.
Josh Goforth, junior mass media major, and Bailey Ragan, sophomore sociology major, own Olive, a 13-week-old chocolate lab who they say helps them learn more about themselves.
“We are very satisfied because now she’s an addition to our lives and very lively adds new experiences and teaches us about ourselves,” Goforth said.
Even with the expenses, which start at around $50 a month for the couple, Goforth and Ragan are pleased with their new investment.
“We wanted her because we’ve always wanted a dog, and the opportunity presented itself,” Goforth said. “We had the means to get her and properly provide for Olive, so we chose to get her.”
Both Goforth and Ragan attend school and although they are ultimately happy with Olive, there are still issues that arise.
“She is quite needy, but only as expected for her age,” Goforth said. “When you’re tired or do not have as much time as you wish each day, it’s not always as easy to play for hours on end.”
Sometimes, though, the stress can be too much for students. Zarah Younossi, junior marketing major, gave away her dog because going to school and owning a dog became too much.
“It was like having a kid, and I am in college,” Younossi said. “It was a lot of work. When I wanted to study, I couldn’t because I felt like I might be neglecting it.”
Peer pressure, among other things, may also drive college students to own dogs they frankly are not ready for.
“My friends had dogs, and I was new here because I transferred,” Younossi said. “I thought having a dog around while I studied would keep me company; I didn’t know many people.”
Many factors can lead to a student keeping a dog or passing up the offer, and while dogs might be fun to have around, college students have many responsibilities and for some, owning and training a dog might be a hurdle to jump later in life.