“Animals are such agreeable friends. They ask no questions, they pass no criticisms.”
This quote by English Victorian novelist George Eliot talks about the unique friendship offered to humans from animals.
For SRU students also owning pets, whether it be back home or in a house or apartment off campus, most can relate to the welcoming feelings and companionship they receive from their pets.
Community counseling graduate student Jena Hazlett, 24, said her two cats, Amí and Precious, show her continual love and affection.
“Amí is French for ‘friend,’” Hazlett said. “He was a gift to me from my French teacher, so I wanted to name him something cute and French as a tribute to her. He is now seven years old and constantly fights for my attention.”
Hazlett said her cats are very loving and that owning them is an extremely rewarding experience.
“I found my cat Precious in September,” Hazlett said. “She was outside crying and she was only one pound, so I took her in. I was also very excited to find her because it was around the time of my birthday, so I considered her a birthday present.”
Hazlett said the two cats vie for her attention, but they always show compassion.
“I have to tell Precious that no means no sometimes,” Hazlett said. “She has eaten my computer keys before. I found ten missing one day. And Amí will lick your face like a dog. It is adorable.”
Living with her cats in Stonecrest Apartments, Hazlett said it can be difficult balancing school and owning a pet sometimes, but it is definitely worth it.
“For me, money is really the only disadvantage when owning pets,” Hazlett said “Paying vet bills and getting your animals spayed or neutered can cost a lot of money, but I adore my cats and I will pay whatever to keep them happy and healthy. But they found me and I couldn’t be happier with them!”
Senior political science and philosophy major Paige Niezelski, 21, said she enjoys cuddling up with a different kind of animal, a snake.
“My roommates don’t mind me having a snake,” Niezelski said. “They actually think it’s very neat and show it off when people come over to visit. We are actually thinking about buying a Polaroid camera and charging a dollar to hold it and take a picture with it.”
Niezelski said some places don’t allow snakes, so finding a job and relocating somewhere else might be difficult for her, but for now her snake, Nora, resides with her in her apartment on Keister Road.
“Snakes are extremely easy to take care of,” Niezelski said. “They only eat about once a week when they are younger and when they grow older they only eat about once a month. They also do not require an elaborate cage set up, just a water dish, some newspaper, and a little box to hide in.”
Junior health services administration major Aryn Pennington, 20, said owning a large dog can be an adventure most days.
“Gotham’s a mix between an Akita and a Newfoundland,” Pennington said. “He’s adopted. I found him on Craigslist. Everyone loves him! I’ve made a ton of friends just bringing him to campus and playing with him in the quad.”
Pennington said Gotham is about 95 pounds and eats as much as she does, so cleaning up after him in her apartment on Center Street is not the easiest task.
“Gotham still has accidents every now and then,” Pennington said, “His accidents are a lot more difficult to clean up, though!”
In addition to keeping Pennington company during all-nighters and greeting her when she comes home, Pennington also said Gotham needs to go on walks a lot, so he helps to keep her active.
New pet owner and senior criminal justice major Jenah Jackson, 21, said she had been looking to adopt a puppy for awhile.
“I work at Petco,” Jackson said. “So I see dogs all day and I finally decided I wanted one. I got my puppy Gizzy two weeks ago. She’s a terrier mix. My boyfriend and I live together [in Butler] so we both take care of her together.”
Jackson said that taking care of Gizzy is harder than she initially thought.
“Gizzy is a playful and loving puppy,” Jackson said, “But it’s difficult house training her. She’s a five-pound dog and she can’t hold her bladder very long.”
Jackson said she and her boyfriend are managing to make time for Gizzy as well as school.
“There has definitely been less time for video games for my boyfriend,” Jackson said sarcastically. “But really, I know I don’t have [the] time to commit that I thought I did. It’s taking a lot of responsibility to take care of her, but I have no regrets.”