We have all days where we miss our pets dearly because, in all reality, they’re our favorite “people” in the world. I know for a fact I miss my dogs, I even made one of them the home screen on my phone. Our pets are our best friends and no one can replace them. It makes it hard going away to college and not being able to see them every day. However, some of us are lucky enough to have dorm pets. Anna Mayes ’19 and Michael Gutkin ’19 allowed me to get to know their dorm pets and talk to them about how great it was for them to come home to after classes.
Martin the betta fish is Anna Mayes’s sixth fish. Martin was adopted last year during fall break alongside his best friend Bernie and has been with Mayes ever since. He has been on four, twelve-hour trips, lives in a pineapple, and likes to listen to Miranda Lambert. Martin also loves it when people talk to him. He swims to the edge of his bowl and stares at you while you talk to him, it’s almost like he’s trying to hold a conversation with people. Martin’s one of the most sociable betta fish I’ve seen and seems to love living in his pineapple every day just swimming around to music.
Stew and Lou, two newts living in Mike Gutkin’s dorm, are probably the cutest things I have ever seen. They live in a fish tank and spend their days swimming and smiling (literally). When asked how he came up with the names, Gutkin said, “Stew was named after Stewart Little and Lou just rhymed.” Stew and Lou have been living with him for three months now and they’ve been nothing short of adorable. For someone who’s never really seen a newt before, Stew and Lou are some of the more adorable newts out there. They’re always so happy and watching them will make just about anyone smile.
Just because we can’t have our best friends with us doesn’t mean we can adopt a dorm pet that follows the rules of housing. Having dorm pets helps us fill the void of leaving our pets at home in exchange for having a new relationship with our new friends, even if they’re fish. They have feelings too and probably get so excited to see you come back from classes. They are also a great way for students to relax. Animals are proven to help people de-stress from a long day and just focus their attention on something else.
So if you’ve been debating on getting a dorm pet, go for it. Not only are they fun to have but also they’re fun to watch and come back to. Plus, you can decorate their tanks with stickers on the tank or (in Martin’s case) give him a pineapple to live in. It can help you temporarily heal the pain of not seeing your dog or cat for a little while.
Photos by Savannah Masterson