It’s natural to miss your dog more than your family

Who do you watch Netflix with now?

The first term was the hardest. Going a full two and a half months without my dog was tough.

It took a strain on him too, and when I got back for Christmas he had clearly turned to comfort eating, as he was significantly heavier.

And it got harder a few months ago when a new addition to the family, a nine-week old labrador puppy, arrived. Leaving baby Alfie, as well as my original bae Jazzy, after just three special weeks of vital maternal bonding was heartbreaking. I literally cried throughout the four hour car journey back to Durham.

Uni takes a strain on you and your pup. Every time a picture of a dog comes up on my newsfeed, I get a little pang of missing my little floof. Dogspotting and Cool Dog Group are a great way of keeping in touch with the canine world, but seeing pictures of other people’s dogs is not the same as seeing your own pup’s face. It’s just not.

Facetiming your dog is little compensation for being separated from them. It’s just not the same, let’s face it. First of all, your family know you’re only calling to see the dog, and you make it even clearer when you ask to be put on to talking to him after a ‘hello’ and ‘how are you?’ with your mum.

It’s just not the same

You can’t stroke your wooflet, bury your face in his neck, he doesn’t always recognise your voice and, most importantly, he can’t smell you.

At least if you want to find out what’s going on in your family’s life you can ring them up or sent a text, or email if you’re into that. But there’s no way of finding out how your dog’s day has been. FaceTime can only tell you so much, but what if your brother holds the iPad at the wrong angle and you miss something?

Even the family whatsapp turns into constant questioning to the rents about how the little guys are getting on. Did he have a nice walk today? Is his water bowl full? Why has his basket moved? Did he have a fun birthday?

So stylish

I miss holding their paws, tugging at their ears and breathing in that warm milky smell behind their ears. These are not things you miss about your family. These are things you miss about your doglet. Your wooflet. Your number one.

To make things worse, dogs stop trusting you as much when you leave the house in the holidays. It’s no wonder they always look so sad when you walk out the door, because they never know if you’ll be coming back.

The same trusting, loving relationship just isn’t there anymore, and it’s tragic.

When you’ve had a rough day at uni, all you want is to hold a paw and feel your loved one’s little head in your lap. He doesn’t force you to talk when you don’t feel like it. He knows when you’re sad and he is by your side no matter what.

Sure, it’s nice going home for Easter and seeing a sibling or two. I enjoy the traditional arguments over who ate who’s egg and who ate the last corner pot, but the main reason I am running through the front door at the end of term is to collapse at the feet of my darlings, my little bundles of unconditional love.