Bags are packed, the car door shuts, and a tear streams down our face as we whisper, “Goodbye, best friend.”
Moving back up to school and coping with the separation from your dog is like coping with death, and the five universal stages of grief are just as likely to follow. It’s time to stop pretending that this void in our hearts doesn’t exist, so we, the Clog, have broken down the typical grief pattern of a student missing their dog.
Stage 1: Denial
“It’s fine, I’m fine, everything’s fine.” (Stop lying to yourself. It’s not fair to your dog or yourself.)
Stage 2: Pain/guilt
At this point you’ve become aware of the outrageous dog culture in the city of Berkeley, and reality begins to hit hard as a college student living in a shoe box. This is the first time you’re realizing just how hard day-to-day living has become without them. There’s no longer anyone to feed green beans to under the table (except the rats) or to blame for eating your homework (also, except for the rats). There’s not a soul up here to vent to. There’s no one to bark and warn you that someone’s at the door and you probably shouldn’t be walking around in your underwear. Nights in bed alone have become lonelier than ever.
Stage 3: Bargaining
Desperation gets the best of us. Check yourself before you wreck yourself and maybe limit the amount of dog-related Instagram accounts you’re going to follow. It’ll be really soon before you realize the internet can’t fill real human voids.
Stage 3: Bargaining
You decide that you must stop moping and take some real action to fill the void. After a week or so, however, the novelty begins to wear off and the result goes a little something like this:
*Buys a fish. Fish starts to smell, fish isn’t furry, fish doesn’t kiss you, fish doesn’t play.*
*Fish accidentally finds itself in toilet.*
Stage 4: Depression
Cue freak-out: “I’m not fine and no one but my dog could possibly know how NOT FINE I am!”
Stage 5: Acceptance
Face Timing your dog on the daily is a-okay! Having your mom mail you its fur is a little weirder, but still technically okay. Whatever works. At this point, the nerves have settled and you’re comfortable realizing that you’ll see them on your next holiday break.
And if it’s still too hard and you’re better off just forgetting, then go ahead and chase Oski or tape some fur to that fish. To each their own.
Contact Camryn Frederickson at [email protected].