By now you’ve probably already read about the Canadian university starting a “puppy room,” where stressed students can let it all out while nuzzling fuzzy little bundles of awesomeness. (Yes, I’m a little jealous that I missed out on this phenomenon. What’s the deal, Tufts?)
The article in the Guardian revealing the new therapy stand-in posited that the pup emporium is perfect, because actually owning an animal can be stressful, not to mention smelly, time consuming and fairly permanent. I argue none of these points (there’s nothing quite like fretting over the consistency of your dog’s feces to make you wonder why you own one in the first place), but I will argue this: Having a animal that loves you, that sees you coming and practically throws out its back in tail-wagging joy, that puts its head on your shoulder when you’re having a bad day, that’s better than any puppy-stuffed classroom.
Every morning, I wake up early pushed half off the bed by my 60-pound mutt, Samba. And every morning as I try to sneak out of the apartment without waking Tovin or forgetting my work clothes, Samba comes staggering out to say goodbye and watch me leave. I bend down, she gives me a couple sleepy licks, and I imagine myself in a video game, my life force bar recharging with that half-second gesture of puppy love. It’s all I really need to feel like everything is going to be okay.