Wow, it’s been a really long time since I’ve written on here!
Dogs can be really important in our lives. They often sleep in the same bed as us, are there to cuddle when we’re feeling down and they scare off cold callers for you. Much like your family, to go from seeing them every day to only seeing them every month or so can be very difficult, especially when you have got used to having them around.
If you follow Oscar on Instagram, you probably know that in term time I am at University in Bath, while Oscar is at my home in Kent.
To some non-dog-owners it may not seem like a big deal to be away from your dog but when you have a bond, it can be a real challenge living away from them for such long periods of time.
Travelling home at weekends
This can be a good option. Going home at weekends gives you a chance to see your dog (and your family of course). Also, if you have an insta dog, it gives you a chance to take some all important photos for Instagram posts.
Unfortunately, travelling home at weekends has not really been an option for me this year, due to my commitment to a society at my uni. When I do finally have a weekend free, it is usually only 1-2 weeks before the end of term, so seems a little pointless.
Getting home can also be expensive. Depending on how far you are from home and how early you book, the price of train tickets can be very variable and very high. Therefore, it is not always a viable option.
Sweet talk somebody into bringing your dog to you!
This is one I have shamelessly used on occasion: If you can’t get to your dog, get someone to bring your dog to you, works like a dream!
Of course, this is not always possible but when it is, it makes for a lovely day and gives you an often-welcome break from the stresses of university.
There is a National Trust walk that runs alongside my campus and we are lucky enough to have a lovely huge field too, so whenever my parents visit with Oscar, we take him there for a nice walk.
Another place we have found in Bath is a lovely canal. It’s really nice to walk along the water’s edge and watch the boats coming through the lock (there were also some lovely photo opportunities).
Throwing in a dog-friendly pub for lunch is a great way to break up dog walks and general exploring too.
Essentially, what I’m trying to say here is that if somebody is able to do this for you, it is lovely to be able to spend the day with your dog and it gives you the chance to explore your local area and perhaps discover some great new places. It also gives you the opportunity to fill up your dog buffer again to keep you going until next time.
I doubt it needs to be said but I’d always recommend having photos of your pooch up in your room. Photos just make a room feel so much cosier and make you feel closer to home, whether you have one cute picture of them or a whole wall plastered with their adorable face (I lean more towards the latter).
I even went one step further and made an Oscar calendar to add to my wall. You can do this online on websites such as Photobox and if you wait until January/February you’re likely to find them much cheaper. Realistically, who wouldn’t want a calendar of their dog? It’s the equivalent of putting up a photo but you get the added feature of seeing a new photo each month, such fun!
Keep yourself busy!
I know it’s always recommended that you join a society or find a hobby when you’re at university but it really can help to keep you busy and help you overcome homesickness. I have found this myself.
I joined the musical theatre society (aka. BUSMS) at my uni at the beginning of this year and it was one of the best decisions I ever made. It kept me so busy that I didn’t really even have time to dwell on how much I missed Oscar. When we have a show upcoming (which is most of the time), it’s possible that I will have rehearsals on Tuesday and Thursday evenings as well as the whole day on Saturday and Sunday.
While not all societies will keep you quite as busy as this one, they can really give you something else to think about and something else to do in your free time and I personally found this very helpful.
I hope this may have helped if you have found yourself in a similar position to me. Realistically, we can never not miss our lovely pups, but it is possible to find ways to cope with being separated.
Thank you for reading!