Taking on a pet means taking on responsibility

Over the course of the past year, Gannon has brought therapy dogs to several events during finals week, midterms and, more recently, the Wellness Fair.

Judging from the positive response these dogs have received and the huge turnouts whenever they’re brought in, it’s safe to say that most students like having them around. It’s a nice alternative to not being able to have pets on campus and I wish it were feasible to bring therapy pets around more often.

That being said, I can completely understand why Res Life does not permit students to own pets – the smell of cat pee can significantly decrease the value of an apartment. Aside from that, I can see other more personal reasons why it might not be a great idea to own non-aquatic pets while you’re in school.

Then again, some people in Harborview last year got in trouble for having pets on campus, so it’s clear that some students want to own a cat or dog now.

I fully recognize that some people going to school have the ability and maturity to be able to take care of themselves as well as a pet, but some students can barely manage the first part.

I’m really not trying to insult anyone, I’m just saying that when you’re in school and you don’t have a full-time job, it can be hard enough to buy groceries, let alone dog food – and new shoes every time said dog decides they are his new chew toys. On top of pet food, if you have a cat you’ll need to add the cost of litter to your bill.

Having a dog or cat around would make a lot of college students happy, don’t get me wrong, but you need to be able to afford to have a pet and put the time and energy into being around. Most students don’t have a lot of free time because they’re involved in several activities or they study all the time.

Sure, cats can be pretty independent, but I know my dog starts whining whenever I go into a different room, even if I’m in the same building. There’s no way most dogs could deal with nobody being home a majority of the day.

Besides, a lot of dogs go nuts when someone they don’t know walks by the building. Try getting through courtesy hours with a bunch of terriers that won’t shut up.

On top of that, the person who lives across the hall from you may be allergic to cats or dogs and that would just cause a whole other set of problems.

I’m not saying that it’s impossible to have any pets when you’re still in school, just that it’s a lot harder to take care of them, especially if you live on campus.

Fish are pretty simple to take care of though. Just remember to feed them daily and change the water when it gets too gross.

But having a dog or a cat can provide a lot of benefits that having a fish doesn’t, so I appreciate Gannon bringing in the therapy dogs. If it were possible to do this more often, I know a good majority of campus would be pretty ecstatic about it.



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