I Don’t Need Therapy, I Have a Dog: The life of having an animal while attending school

Olivia Macdonald, Opinion Writer

Walking on Wilkes’ Greenway is becoming more enjoyable on the sunny days, with all of the new pups sniffing around. It seems that having a dog, or any pet, is becoming the new thing to do, and who doesn’t love a wet-nosed-kiss every now and again? It is proven that having a dog reduces stress, and anxiety especially while dealing with a course load of classes.

I would think the best part of having a dog on campus, would be a tail wagging every time you get home from a stressful day. Kahlua was one of the first pups to walk Wilkes’ campus last year. She is owned by Nicholas Brady, Ryan Dailey, Austin Quiroz, and Storm Deemer, who rescued her from a listing on Craigslist.

“It’s a lot of work, but it’s an awesome feeling being greeted every time you walk through the door,” Brady says. “She’s a get away from the crazy stuff in life, and balances out all of the negativity.”

Whenever Kahlua, or any student pets are spotted on campus, there is a consistent smile on people’s faces and an “aw!” to follow. A lot of people view having a pet while in school a bad idea, because the animal will not get the amount of attention that it deserves and in some cases, those people are correct.

But on the other hand, having a pet at school means that there is an abundant amount of people to take care of it, compared to if you were living on your own out of college. Most students would jump at the opportunity to walk a dog (if they are a dog person), which is what usually happens with Wilkes’ favorite friendly little monster, Thor. Thor will either scare or comfort students because of his large build since he is a King Cane Corso. I have had the pleasure of walking Thor several times, with one of my good friends and the way that students faces light up when they see him after a hard test, or boring lecture, he always makes the day better.

Grace Sanzalone, who is a regular dog walker with Thor says,“When I’m walking him I feed off of his energy,” she explains. “He is always relaxed and just wants to say hi to people!”.

Even though Thor’s owner, Jill, is a faculty member here at Wilkes, it does not change the fact of how much time and work it takes to raise and train a puppy. Several of our Wilkes students have been learning this which can get pretty exhausting, and sometimes make you want to give up. But for those of us that do not have puppies and bunnies on campus, we thank you and your little runts for putting smiles on our faces and wet kisses on our cheeks.