An Open Letter To The Dog I Spotted On Campus

*Originally published on The Odyssey by Molly Reff on April 26, 2016

Dear Furry Friend,

I’m sorry to interrupt your stroll. It’s a beautiful day, and despite the stresses of schoolwork and classes to get to, I couldn’t help but notice as you were happily walking along the campus. After my friends and I settle our excitement, we make our way over. I kindly ask your owner if I can pet you, and I try to hide back a joyful yelp as he or she says yes. My friends and I quickly gather around, and your tail begins to wag as we pet you.

 unnamed-e1490229895144.jpgThank you for giving us a few minutes of your time. You probably don’t realize it, but your wagging tail and ever present smile can turn a college student’s day around. Thanks for visiting our campus. I’m glad you and your owner appreciate the beauty of it as much as the students do. No matter the weather, students trek back and forth along the same path every morning, and it’s nice to see you come around and change our routine up every now and then. Be sure to thank your owner again tonight.

Thanks for also being so humble. You don’t ask for anything, just a soft pet in return for your curious sniff. You make people smile endlessly without anticipating a prize in return. It’s nice to know there are still humble people, I mean animals, around.

I love how happy you are to see everyone that walks your way. Even if I don’t get the chance to pet you, know that I am so glad you’re here. I really am. You remind me of my own dog. I know! We just met, but it’s true. Seeing you helps me keep going until I get to see my dog next month. I talk to my parents every day, but I can’t talk to my dog! I can’t ask how her day went or pet her fuzzy head. When I’m homesick, you come along and give me a pick me up. I can’t wait to get home and spend time with my family, but until then, I’m glad surprises like you can make us all smile.

Thank you for teaching me to appreciate the little things. It sounds corny, but we can’t forget it. As you walk, you like to take your time. You stop, say hi to every person that smiles at you, and continue to stroll. You smell each and every flower that lines our campus sidewalks, and you bounce happily along as the wind brushes against your soft fur. You indirectly teach busy and self-concerned students to take a step back and look at the world around them.unnamed.png

Amongst the humility, the soft fur, and your appreciation for those around you, you’re simply a cute animal that I love to see every day. My friends and I will talk about you days after our meeting, and I hope I’ll get to see you again soon. Thank you for visiting, and I hope you enjoyed your stroll as much as I did.

College student.

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