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Since moving to Flagstaff and starting school at Northern Arizona University, my dog radar has gone wild. I always knew I loved a good pup, but I didn’t realize how badly I wanted one of my own until coming here. There’s something about Flagstaff that makes the four-legged friends look so sweet. Maybe it’s the fact that they casually stroll downtown with their caretakers as if nothing in the world was more important than that walk. Or maybe it’s all the well-behaved service dogs in my classes. The ones that just sit on their owner’s lap and you hardly notice their presence until they do something absolutely adorable.

The reality I had to face when considering a furry companion is my multiple jobs. I am oftentimes at Starbucks or in The Lumberjack newsroom more than I am in my own apartment. I didn’t want to get a pup just to leave it at home all of the time. Because of my multiple jobs and my go-go-go lifestyle, I decided it wouldn’t be wise to adopt a dog during my freshman through junior years. Three weeks ago, however, I decided dog-mom life was the life for me.

I adopted Cali on a Saturday. My boyfriend and I had been running errands all afternoon. When our list of places to go came to an end, I proposed we go to the Coconino Humane Association. We had been talking about getting a pup for quite some time but always agreed our lives were too busy. That conflict changed in August when both of us went from taking 18 units a semester to 12 to 14 units this semester and next. For the first time, we truly considered getting a dog.

We walked through CHA and were greeted by many older dogs. We were starting to lose hope for a puppy, but then we saw her: a blonde, shy, medium sized pup. She was three months old and so sweet. Thoughts of car rides, strolls through Buffalo Park and cuddles overwhelmed me. She was our girl.

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Cali is loved. I am so happy that I was able to adopt her and give her the life she deserves. Although the original concern of leaving her home alone too often hasn’t been an issue, other unpredictable problems have occurred. One problem in particular: her looks. Being in school and having a dog that looks like an angel is incredibly distracting, especially when it comes to doing homework. I don’t know why but I can’t help but stare at her. Is that creepy? She’s just so cute that most of the time I am looking at her for what I thought was just a few seconds, but then when I look back at my laptop I find that half an hour went by and I only have 20 minutes to complete an assignment.

Another issue is her sleeping habits. Almost every morning Cali is awake and barking at 4 a.m. needing to go outside. Considering both my boyfriend and I are students by day and employees by night, going to sleep at midnight just to be woken up four hours later is not ideal. That’s where being a dog parent and a college student collide. The puppy is cute but distracting. She sleeps a lot, just not through the night.

Puppy love is worth it. After three weeks of having her I wouldn’t take it back, however, I would’ve loved to have known what was in store for me when it came to the puppy love terrors.

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Bailey Helton is the editor-in-chief at The Lumberjack, Northern Arizona University's student newspaper. College Chronicles aims to connect Flag Live! readers to various aspects of campus life.

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