My Fall as a 'Veteran' Pet Trainer
Fall finals are done and out of the way for undergraduates!!
Yay! I survived…barely. Finals take an emotional and physical toll
on just about everyone.
But looking back on this semester, I would say
the fall was, overall, successful. Throughout this semester, things
got a little crazy in my house with my roommate’s two pets, an
11-month-old Great Pyrenees, Toph, and a 7 year-old-cat, Moo, as
well as the service dogs I've been training that came in and out of
Back in August, I started off with a white Labrador Retriever
named Pokey. He got along very well with the other pets, rough
housing and keeping Toph company and even bothering, with mutual
respect, of course, Moo. Training a service dog during the semester
can be difficult; however, what made it harder was my replacement
dog for Pokey, who returned to the headquarters of Patriot Paws of
Aggieland to learn more advanced training. He may graduate as soon
as spring 2018 to a veteran in need.
In his place, I received a white English Golden Retriever named
Woodward (or Woody, for short) in late September. Woody was a puppy
of 7 months and only knew the command for “sit.” I had a handful in
trying to balance training a puppy, keeping up with academics, and
continuing my active involvement in my organizations like Pre-Vet
Society and as an MSC Hospitality tour guide.
All in all, having to train a service dog, or even deciding to
have a pet of one’s own, is a very difficult challenge while in
college. It takes a lot of responsibility and time to care for a
pet and, perhaps even more so, to train one. My word of advice is
to wait before you get a pet and do some research on budgeting both
the time and money that will be required to invest in one. If you
already have a pet, look up ways to maintain your pet’s health by
exercising, training, and feeding them healthy, correctly portioned
Best of luck to everyone still finishing exams and have a very