Graphic by Haley Morkert.
ABIGAIL PLUFF | OPINION COLUMNIST | firstname.lastname@example.org
Full disclosure: I am not a licensed therapist. Honestly, I am not licensed in anything whatsoever. I’m just a gal with lots of opinions who enjoys giving unsolicited advice to almost anyone around me. So, if this is adverse advice, you can’t sue me or my place of work. Sorry!
“Be honest. Is it weird to freak out and say hi every time you see a dog on campus? I just can’t help myself!” — Loyal Reader
First of all, I’m always honest. How dare you.
Now, to the dog thing. There is nothing — and I mean nothing — wrong with stopping to say hello to every dog you meet. In fact, if you don’t at least nod at a Good Boy as you walk by, I’m not sure I want to be your friend.
Actually, in my experience, it can be beneficial for both parties to freak out over every dog you see. Here’s how:
Dogs are silly and fun. They break up the monotony of everyday life, which is only reinforced by their slobbery smiles and waggy butts. When you feel like studying is rotting your brain and sleep deprivation is making you want to hibernate, a pup break can be just what you need.
It’s also beneficial for the dog, who becomes better socialized with every new person they meet. It allows them to feel more comfortable around more kinds of people and in different places. When dogs are better socialized, they’re more confident in themselves. Their owners are too!
Socialization is especially important in puppies, which are coincidentally the most pet-able of all the dog categories. So, next time you see Blue IV, pet him! He’s only a puppy for so long, and you’re contributing to his training. Way to go.
Petting dogs also relieves stress in the human’s body and dog’s body. There’s, like, studies and stuff. This means that you’re doing not only yourself a favor, but also the pup! College is stressful, we’ve been over this. I’m sure dog life is full of stress too.
It’s your duty as a human to boost the oxytocin levels of the dogs on campus as much as you can. They’ve been cooped up all winter, just like you. I’m sure they could use it.
However — and this is important! — you should always, always ask if you can pet someone’s dog before doing it. It’s just the safe and polite thing to do.
So, I think you should go for it. Pet every dog you see. Get excited. Squeal. It’s really okay! You should never be ashamed of your pure happiness; it makes the world go ‘round. It’s good for everyone, and we need all the joy we can get.
You are valuable, valid and loved. I talked to all the campus dogs, and they think so too.
If you have a question that you’d like to see discussed in Ask Abby, feel free to contact me via email, carrier pigeon or telepathy.