When first considering adopting a dog, there were many people that were unsupportive of my decision. Other college students did not understand how someone that works part-time and goes to school full-time could possibly be responsible enough to take care of a living animal. I did not understand how those people could go through college being as stressed as they were and not believe that an animal would make them happier. Despite having these people put down the idea of getting a dog, I decided to adopt one anyway and it was the best decision that I have ever made even though it did not seem like it at first.
My first step was getting an apartment that allowed dogs. This was easy, but the fact that the apartment allowed my dog came at a high price. Since my rent would be increased that would mean that I would have to work more hours than I had been. At first, this made me doubt myself. I thought that I had made a huge mistake and taken on way more than I could ever handle at my age. It wasn't until I got to actually bring my dog home that I knew that I had made the right decision. After all, one of the best remedies for reducing stress is the love of an animal.
Every day that I came home after a long day of work to a happy puppy wagging his tail, it made my night so much better. We would spend those evenings playing with all his toys and spending as much time together as we could. The nights ended with us relaxing and cuddling into bed. It was always so wonderful to know that no matter what happened during the day, I would always have this little guy waiting for me at home to share my love with after a long, hard day.
I started taking him for walks every day so that he would remain healthy, and as a result I got in great shape and felt so much better than I had in years. I also took him to the dog park once a week to socialize him, and by doing so I met great, supportive people. They understood exactly what I was going through with puppy training and the other stressors that come with owning a dog. On top of all of this I learned how to manage my time better, prioritize, and most importantly that the love of a dog is one of the best feelings in the world.
Overall, adopting a dog taught me many things about myself and life in general. I became the responsible adult I always knew I could be, but was afraid to become. It brought wonderful people into my life, got me into great shape, and made me realize that the stressors in life aren't worth losing your happiness.