Students feeling puppy love

There’s nothing like that cute puppy love that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy in your tummy. Finding the right “one” for you is an essential part of the process. You see their small face for the first time towering over it like a giant. You cannot help yourself by belting out loudly “AWW”. Then you turn to your boyfriend, girlfriend, mother, father or whomever, you are with, and look at them with your own puppy eyes and say over and over PLEASE can we get it! After all that paper work, it’s official! You carry out the eight-week old, so-small-it-can-fit- in your-lap, puppy!

At Castleton State College when students move off campus, the first thing they say to their housemates is, we should get a puppy! For junior Cora LeClair and senior Justin Cawley their dream came true this semester.

“The main reason we moved off campus is to get a dog. We were lucky we got her for 50 bucks,” Leclair said.

Casey is their eight-week old chocolate lab that is still in the stage of teething and continues to poop and pee everywhere.

On the bright side, Casey already sits on command! She can walk on a leash without biting through it, unlike the puppy in the movie Marley & Me. Leclair, being the responsible mother, has taken care of her, house trained her and even lets little Casey sleep with her. Money has yet to be an issue for the two owners, but they both agreed when it’s time for the veterinarian, it might get pretty expensive.

“She’s like taking care of a baby. They’re all about time management. You always have to watch them no matter what. The time with my boyfriend has gone down a lot,” Leclair said.

For the record, Casey has yet to adopt either of their last names, just in case they split up.

But Gretchen Goodman, who works at the Humane Society in Rutland County, cautioned students about dog ownership.

“College students can afford them in the short run, but they don’t know what they will be doing or where they will be living in three or four years. Getting a dog is sometimes a 20-year commitment,” she said.

Senior Dan Gardner, who tried to adopt a dog from the Humane Society, had a pretty bad experience.

“I was pissed. I went through a day-and-a-half signing papers and having them do background checks on me. But at the last minute the manager came out and told me that I can’t have a dog from them because I am a college student,” he said.

He said he understood why they said no, because they fear what happens to the dog once school is over.

But nothing would stop Gardner from getting a dog. He was so determined to get a puppy that he could train by himself, he went to Rhode Island to his friend’s town to get one. His dog is also named Kacy and she is now a beautiful three- month-old golden retriever who loves to jump on people, especially when they walk through the door.

“I really wanted to get a puppy, that way I could have the dog learn my voice and get them house trained. The jumping part I think is part of the dogs breed, because I have friends that also have two goldens and they do the same thing. And they are both five years old,” he said

Gardner lived right next to campus when he got his puppy, but then his “expletive” landlord kicked both of them out. Now they both happily live in West Rutland where Gardner worked really hard building a fence in his back yard for Kacy.

Justin Vigilante, a senior, has a dog named Velvet. He laughed when he said, “My best memory of Velvet is when she came to class with me. Not because I let her, because she ran after me in my car. She loves cars, that’s the problem! I was going to class in my car and going about 25mph and she was keeping up with me. I went for a while down the road but finally felt bad so I took a left down a street to pull over and get her. But I guess she wanted to go to class, so she kept running.”

Velvet is an average size, four-year-old black lab clearly with a mind of her own!

Vigilante got Velvet from his friend who got her from his dad’s friend.

“We were also lucky because she came with collars and couple bags of food so money really hasn’t been an issue. And when I go to class, my roommates and my neighbors look after her. It makes it so much easier when other people help” Vigilante said.

So what happens to their dogs when students graduate? That’s a problem, according to the Humane Society officials.

“Unfortunately we see a spike always around April, May, and June. Students move different places and their landlord won’t let them keep the animals, so they come to us. And we take them in. But the reason college students want a dog is because they like to have a sense of companionship with an animal. After all it, is a man’s best friend” said, Goodman

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