Friends and Family Aren’t the Only Ones We Say Goodbye to When We Leave for College

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Most of us who have pets love them with all our hearts. Some of us might have grown up with pets and some might just be experiencing what it is like to have a pet. For those of us who are seniors, many are leaving for college are facing the reality of leaving our beloved animals.

Karla Ayala is a senior who recently got her dog Max, who is an Akita German Shepherd dog. She has had birds, a hamster, and a fish as pets before, but this is her first dog.

“It’s completely different because dogs are like babies and need way more care,” said Ayala.

Karla is in charge of feeding him, cleaning up after him, and playing with him. Max does not know any tricks yet because he is only two months. Adorable, energetic, and smart are the three words Karla uses to describe Max. Karla will be going away for college in the fall of 2019.

“I’m honestly heartbroken that I have to leave him,” said Ayala,“We are super attached to each other.”

Natalie Flores is a senior and has two dogs who she loves both very much. Mia is a maltipoo mix and Ellie is a chihuahua pomeranian maltipoo mutt.

“ I was about 8 years old when Mia fell upon my arms and I was 10 years old when Ellie came to my home,” Flores said.

Natalie is responsible for feeding Mia and Ellie every single day, is in charge of picking up their poop and bathing them.

“If they have fleas or ticks, I have to purchase medicine and remove them as well,” said Flores.


Mia is an extremely active dog and always wants to run. Ellie used to be overweight which decreased her mobility.

“She loves to play with her squeaky toy so I always play fetch with her,” said Flores,“She cuddles with it at night and she can jump insanely high.”

Ellies is obedient. She knows how to sit, roll over, play fetch, and overall listens to any demand Natalie may give her.

Slow, overly friendly, and loving are the three words Flores uses to describe Mia.

“ She is getting pretty old so her sense of smell and sight is decreasing,” said Flores,“She also gives too many unnecessary kisses because she loves attention and tummy rubs”

Smart, cuddly, and unique are the words that Natalie uses to describe Ellie. She is one of “the smartest” dogs that Flores has ever owned.

“It fascinates me how she can process several tasks in her little tiny dog body. She loves to cuddle with me, she actually cannot stay away from me. Massaging her is one of my favorite forms of petting her. She’s a very chill dog”.

Natalie will be attending University of California, Santa Barbara this upcoming fall.

“ I am very heartbroken with the fact that my dogs are going to stay home while I’m at college. I’m going to miss them a lot because I grew up with dogs all my life and the lack of a fluffy friend is saddening however I’m glad to know they’ll be home when I visit. I love them with all my heart”, Flores said.

Having more than one pet it can be challenging at times to equally divide your love to each one.

“I have a different relationship with each dog because they demand different things despite being the same breed”, said Flores. “For instance, I love to blow Mia kisses and talk to her in a very high tone. While with Ellie, I give her massages and play fetch with her. I love them both equally. They’re my best friends.”