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The Dog who Changed my Life by Jessica Hopson

The Dog (AW)As I was deciding on which college I would attend, my parents kept saying, “go to Sonoma.” They wanted me to stay close to home, but that was not an option for me. I was ready to grow up, become an adult, and experience the independence that comes with adulthood and staying close to home would not do that for me. Of course, I was wrong. After choosing to go to Santa Barbara, a school fives hours away from my home, I realized my parents were right.

My first year in Santa Barbara was extremely hard not knowing anyone, not knowing the town, not knowing the school, and not knowing the intensity of college. I quickly became overwhelmed. All I wanted was to go home, be in a familiar place, with familiar people, but that wasn’t an option. My mom was aware of how hard my life was living away from home and knew she needed to do something to change that. Her solution: a dog. When I visited home for the summer, I was surprised with a toy fox terrier that my mom rescued from the Humane Society. I could not understand how a dog, which would add more responsibly to my life, could help my situation, but, soon after I returned to college, it hit me. Always by my side, he became my home away from home. He was rescued from being euthanized and, in return, he rescued me from my fear of being away from home.

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