A Call to Paws: A Letter to the Parentals

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When times get tough, people knuckle down and do what they do best to get through it all. So, I’ve come here. Blogging is something I’m probably good at, and my times are at a pretty decent first world tough.

Dearest Darlingist Mumsie and Popsicle,

Yes, I am starting this off with a Wicked reference. Sue me.

As a twenty something college student living with depression, anxiety, and her parents, it’s safe to say I have a pretty high stress level. High stress levels can lead to musculoskeletal damage, respiratory issues, cardiovascular issues, and a bunch of other really not fun stuff, that I would rather not have. Also, grey hair. I’m far too young to have grey hair right now. We all know I’m not the best at handling stress, right?

There’s a lot of ways to reduce stress, and a lot of them I try to employ. I do Yoga, I plan ahead and prepare, and I exercise. But as a flawed human, I still get stressed. Which is normal. But I’m not always the best at handling that. Previous bad ways of handling include eating nothing but protein bars, not showering, being unable to get out of bed (s/o to you, depression), physical illness, and at worst, not going to class at all. I wouldn’t leave my dorm except to go to the bathroom down the hall. Stress mixed with the anxiety and depression, feeding off each other, really can be a killer. At my worst times, with a literally unending source of alcohol and study drugs on college campuses, it’s been really tempting. I need something else in my life to help combat these issues, especially something to get me up and out of bed on the bad mornings. Even when I’m at home, almost nothing can, except for one thing, the dog.

I love my dog more than anything, including you both. Sorry, but not really. We all know he’s the favorite kid. Him standing there and literally yelling at me to get up and walk him, some days is the only reason I get out of bed, which can feel like a monumental task. It sounds silly, but when stress, anxiety, and depression take over your mind, the thought of getting out of bed seems equivalent with jumping off of the Grand Canyon, stupid, scary, and all around probably the worst idea.

Its because of this, I not ask, not beg, but implore you to consider adding another four legged friend to the family. Whether it be a cat or a dog.

For a cat, size isn’t a factor really. Most are already apartment-sized. To have them in a smaller space, would require a regularly cleaned litterbox, a decently tall cat tree, and access to windows. There are some breeds to avoid like Bengals or Siamese, ones that are really active or loud, but the average kitty is okay. One that is older too, young cats need a lot of playtime and socialization, which is a lot of work and time I don’t have. A quiet, indoor, adult cat that doesn’t mind dogs would be perfect for me. A stinky litterbox or loud hungry mouth is definitely enough to get me up in the mornings.

For a dog, I can tell you that the best breed for my space is a greyhound. As 45 MPH couch potatoes, they are great apartment dogs. Less likely to get into the trouble that a cat might, these outdoor poopers would make me get up and get out on the days where I can’t. Greys don’t take up a lot of space, and with regular walks they don’t need any more exercise than a regular dog. The only issue is a space constraint, and even the smallest possible dorm I’m looking at has room for a bed. Like Finn, they really can’t be off leash outside of a fenced in area. The only potential issue would be making sure that we find a Grey who is going to get along with Finn. All adoptable ones are tested for their chasing instincts, and we already know that Finn doesn’t like male dogs as much, so it’s nothing that a few socialization meets couldn’t handle. Greys aren’t very excitable or barky dogs, but are generally obedient with basic commands, so they would be the perfect dorm animal. And less likely to escape that a smaller cat might be.

I know your objections, pets are expensive! So I did the math! And here’s what it came to. First for the cat, an estimate from a cat owner,

  • Food and Litter: $360/year
  • Toys: $30/year
  • Damage Control: $50/year
  • Vet: $200/year
  • Adoption: $60
  • Litter Box: $15
  • Collar: $4
  • Tree: $120
  • Window Bed: $20
  • Cat Crate: $35

Rounding up, about $900 for the first year, and about $650 for every subsequent year. Which is totally feasible! It’s not bad, and I would cover the expenses myself. The only real pain would be moving the cat tree, which isn’t even that big of an issue in the grand scheme really. You ask about major vet issues? Well I’d be getting a young adult cat, one checked for major health issues before I adopt it. So we can assume that there likely wouldn’t be any major health costs for a few years, and by that point, I would be out of college, on my own, with a real job.

Now for doggo expenses:

  • Food: $150/year
  • Vet: $250/year
  • Miscellaneous: $50/year
  • Adoption: $250
  • Apparel Set: $300
  • Crate: $100
  • Leash and Collar: $15

Rounding up, about $1,100 for the first year, but only $450 for every following year. And yes, the coats are necessary. Greys are long, skinny, and easily affected by temperatures. Same goes for the health costs, any major issues wouldn’t likely occur until I’m out of school and have real income.

Your next question is how will I keep the animal at school. Well while Montclair doesn’t allow for pets, they do allow for emotional support animals. And due to my being a depressed cucumber with anxiety, I am eligible for an emotional support animal. All it requires is a letter from a certified psychologist, which I’ve been looking into going back to see anyways.

And what if I want to travel you ask, knowing my future plans. Well I have some options. I could get a friend to look after the animal since both are pretty easy animals to care for. I could board them, either close to me at school, or back home. Or, I could ask you, my lovely parental units, to watch the given animal for the time I am away, if at all. That is the cheapest option, and of course I’m sure you would object too much to spending some time with your GrandKitty or GrandPuppy. Let’s be honest, my sister would be over the moon to spend time with any animal, including her Niece/Nephew Kitty/Puppo.

What about a roommate you say? Well upon getting said emotional support pet, we would have to notify the school. It would be on my record as far as housing and dining is concerned, and it would play a role in how I find a roommate, but I think it would be pretty easy to find a roommate at any University who wouldn’t mind having an animal around.

I think a Greyhound would be preferable over a cat in my situation for a few reasons. One, a cat might be a little more escape-y than a dog would be, which would be tough in a dorm situation. Also, while just getting up would be a great help on my bad days, being forced to get up and out is a big change. Knowing that the dog would depend on me for that, it makes me get up and out and get my day going. Also, I can run with a Greyhound. While it wouldn’t be miles and miles of running, I can go out for a few miles with the dog. Which is good, considering Montclair is in a more urban area, Mom, you’re always concerned I’m going to get attacked when I run. While Grey’s are the breed you get for security, just the actual having of a dog with me is a big deterrent. Plus, while I don’t have bad allergies, Greyhounds are one of the most hypoallergenic breeds! They don’t have a thick coat, and they don’t shed a lot. They’re even more hypoallergenic than Finn is!

It would be best to get the animal accustomed to a certain schedule, to me, driving in a car, and officially recognized by the school, so time is of the essence. Plus, my birthday is coming up, and you can bet your bottom dollar that I’d be good with just this as my gift. I’ve never been a super material person, and I know what kind of difficulty having another animal in the house would present. I’m willing to put in the work for the animal that I will have to take care of for the next 10 or so years. An animal isn’t just a fun thing, it’s a responsibility, its a living creature to love, care for, and respect. While you might think that I’m being greedy wanting a doggo friend, it comes down to more than just I want a puppy. It’s me actively working to better my life and my self. It saves three lives, not just my own, but the dog we adopt (or cat!), and the next one to fill their place at the rescue. While expensive, it’s not impossible. And it is a financial burden I can carry.

So that’s the end of my online, published, public plea for a pet. Did I publish this on my blog for every and anyone to see to possibly add a little peer pressure and dare I say even guilt to the mix? No I have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about ♥♥

I hope all of my one reader found the letter itself funny. If not, too bad, it’s already been done. Don’t worry, I’ll be back tomorrow with a normal, more blogger-y type post! Until then, writing you you from M, Personally.


P.S. A late add on, but a Greyhound is probably the closest I’ll ever get to having my own pony, don’t forget Mama!


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