‘Bye, buddy’: Telling your pet you’re going to college

design: Abby Robinson

As time slowly comes to an end at the high school, seniors have sat down and made their final college decisions. While students wonder what they want to major in, who they want to room with and how they are going to manage moving out of their childhood homes, it doesn’t occur to them that there are smaller things, particularly furry things, that they don’t want to forget about before they step out into a bigger realm: their pets. So before seniors pack up their bags and leave, they need to know how to say goodbye to their furry little best friends.

If one is a pet lover, they should know that their pet will indeed miss them while they’re gone so it is important to make sure to leave them with a long lasting goodbye until the next visit. Some things to consider leaving with a pet is either a new toy, an item with the owner’s scent on it or a big bone they can chew to keep them occupied while the owner is gone. Certain items like these can let a pet know that their owner is still with them.

Thankfully, most pets don’t think, behave or react like humans, so they won’t feel like their owners are abandoning them. They will be sad not having them by their side anymore, but it can be made easy so they don’t make a fuss about the owner’s departure.

Some tips to avoid this scene is to behave normally. Don’t show any guilt and definitely try not to show sad emotions. Most animals are very instinctive and can pick up such negative energy pretty quickly. If they feel such a thing is about to happen, they will not be too okay with it.

Another thing to remember is that the owner may be leaving, but their pet will still be in the same environment they have always been in and will most likely be greeted every day by the same company as usual. Make sure to let family members know that the pet should remember the owner and who they are.

Not only should they be prepared the day of the departure, but spending loads of time with the animal should be at the top of the owner’s list. Take them to the park or let them get a treat from Starbucks. Use whatever ways to comfort the animal and make them happy so they have a good memory of their owner. And not only should this be for the animal, it should also be for the human. Taking some time off and going to adventure with a pet can make going to college a lot less stressful.

Something I have always done with my dogs is say my sisters’ names to them and where they are. My sisters don’t live with me, but they make sure to stop by every so often to say hello to the dogs.

So, when I mention their names, my pets’ faces light up with joy and they immediately grab a toy and want to play. In the long run, when the owner is in college and not necessarily in the presence of their animals they will still play for the owner and enjoy life.

A quote to leave you with is, “Pets might be in just a small part of our lives, but to them, we are their whole life.” So, seniors, make sure to cherish the moments with your little best friends and don’t forget to say goodbye before you go off to college.