Students pet furry friends for National Love Your Pet Day

Lap dog: Shannon Vogel and her dog Oscar share an embrace on a picnic table. Oscar is one of Vogel's many pets and the one she considers to be her closest companion.

To celebrate National Love Your Pet Day, students were able to play with puppies and kittens in the Union Underground Feb. 20. For anyone who lives away from home and doesn’t get to have their childhood pet with them on ever day, this was a great opportunity.

I love my family but I usually only tear up when I say goodbye to my dog Peter before leaving home to head back to school after breaks. There’s a reason for this, because our pets are important to us and we consider them family.

“Tessa has always been there for me,” said sophomore biochemistry major Logan Stock of his family’s miniature beagle. “She’s a good companion and has always treated me with love. I live nine hours away from home, so I only get to see her every once in a while.”

This is something that many of us college students deal with. Sometimes pictures of our furry friends sent to us from our parents are one of the only things that get us through to Friday.

Senior elementary education, soon to be psychology major, Shannon Vogel lived on a farm and has many pets to call her own.

“My family has two dogs, a lab named Oscar and a Great Pyrenees named Riker. We also have two horses, a bunch of farm cats and some sheep,” Vogel said. “Riker is more of a worker dog and Oscar is the one that I consider to be my companion. I went through obedience training with him and he’s good company, but really lazy too. We have a fun relationship and communicate well with each other. I just wish I could see him more than what I do.”

I have a pet fish named Lunar in my apartment at The Village. I don’t know if I’m just that desperate to have an animal with me every day, or if I honestly love this fish as much as I do. Whenever I walk up to his tank to feed him, I swear that little guy sees me coming and swims around all excited; it’s the cutest thing ever. My point is, it doesn’t matter what your pet is or how often you get to see it; our pets are important to us and always will be. 

Our beloved furry, or scaly, friends serve many roles for us, but the biggest one is friend. Pets are important to us because they don’t love like people do. They don’t hold grudges, they’re good at listening and you never have to question their loyalty. Most animals are pretty intuitive as well. I can count many times when I was having a rough day and my dog would just sit with me for a while. I know that if all I did for an entire day was sit on the couch and pet him, he would be the happiest animal in the world.

If you’re able, go hug your pet. If you live away from home or your pet is aquatic, I feel for you. Happy belated National Love Your Pet Day.