The Baker Orange

Students take on pets, responsibilities

Story by Dylan Perry

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Although it may be man’s best friend, owning a dog requires some responsibility. Many Baker students who live off-campus have become pet owners this semester and are adapting to this new duty.

“At first it was kind of hectic,” senior T.J. Holtrop said.

Holtrop and his roommate own dogs that are both under a year old. Holtrop’s dog Ziggy is a pit bull terrier and his roommate’s dog is a black labrador retriever. The two puppies expend a lot of energy when they play with each other.

“Sometimes they can get after it,” Holtrop said.

Other than chewing up a few things when he was younger, Ziggy hasn’t given Holtrop too much trouble. Except for one incident, that is.

Holtrop says his dog’s worst moment occurred when they were roaming on nearby farmland and Ziggy found a pile of animal feces to roll around in.

In order to gain more control as a dog owner and help give his pet a good start, Holtrop took Ziggy to dog training classes in Lawrence.

Ziggy is not the only pit bull you may see around campus. Senior Camren Torneden is the proud owner of a 3-month old pit bull named Buddha. Torneden wanted to get a dog for the companionship.

“I was feeling a void in my life,” he said.

So far, Torneden said Buddha has not caused much trouble.

“He is sneaky,” Torneden said. “He has his own little personality.”

Some dogs need a chew toy to express their personality. Junior Levi Blaylock says his young puppy, a bulldog and border collie mix, chewed just about everything including the edge of the bed, laundry baskets, shoes and laptops. Kilo, now 8-months old, even chewed a hole through dry wall.

“The worst part about having him is training him.” Blaylock said.

Blaylock got Kilo when he was just 7 weeks old, so teaching the dog not to pee and poop around the house was a challenge.

Despite the challenges, students say there are reasons that dogs are great to have around.

“I probably just like having someone there at all times to hang out with when no one else is around,” Blaylock said.

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