Date for Valentine’s Day? No. Dogs? Yes

No date for Valentine’s Day? That’s OK! No dog either? Go get one



My dog, Starla.

JULIA MESSEGEE, Evergreen reporter

Valentine’s Day is zooming toward us. I can see it in the distance, approaching and frightening all the single people. If you don’t have a date for Valentine’s Day, do you have a dog? If not, you should go get one. I am here to tell you, from experience, how a dog provides unconditional love and support.

My dog’s name is Starla. She is a 4-year-old Shih Tzu and Maltese mix who smells like peaches. Sometimes, the peaches are moldy. She usually smells good, though.

I blame Starla for my homesickness here in Pullman. She is just so … adorable. Close proximity to animals releases positive neurotransmitters into your brain, according to Dr. Jane Manno in a Cleveland Clinic Newsroom article titled “How Dogs can Help with your Mental Health”. Sometimes, my urge to take a quick trip back to the Seattle area and give her a hug is overwhelming. She’s small, though, so the hug can’t be too aggressive or I’ll squish her.

Yes, Starla once texted someone on my phone without my consent, but I’m over it. Don’t leave your phone open on texts with a dog around. I got a concerned response asking if I was alright. Honestly, I would be concerned too if my friend sent me “%$0jkwqp😎🍕99h+-🐢.”

Anyway, while she sometimes drives me nuts, Starla is always there for me.

I can’t even count the times I have had a horrible day and seen Starla doing some weird pose by my front door, waiting to make me laugh. Actually, I don’t know if she does it on purpose, but it works. My favorite pose is what I call the “frog legs” position.

Starla’s frog legs.

Starla has an odd habit of propelling herself up with her back legs and doing a … dance. I’m not quite sure how to explain it. Sometimes it looks like she’s swimming in midair.

Every time Starla busts a move, I crumble. I can’t explain how adorable her little waltz is. She’s always creating hilarious situations in the house with her dance moves, odd squeaky noises and facial expressions.

When I tell you dogs bring immeasurable joy, I’m being absolutely sincere. I’m not trying to be cheesy; dogs are literally the best.

If you feel desolate on Valentine’s Day, or any day really, consider getting a dog. Living with a 24/7 companion is amazing for your mental health. If you can’t get one, you can “Pet Your Stress Away” with animals in the Compton Union Building during finals week, courtesy of the “Pet Your Stress Away” program at WSU.

Caring for such a wholesome creature makes said creature happier, which in turn makes you happier because you are uplifting your cuddly friend’s spirits. The word “cuddly” applies to most dogs, but not all, by the way.

When I left for WSU, my mom told me that Starla would keep checking my room to discover if I was back for a few weeks. When she realized I was gone for a lengthy amount of time, she would sigh, hop up on my bed and fall asleep.

This is the kind of love you receive when owning a dog. I can’t wait for spring break so I can watch Starla’s funny little dance moves again.

If you feel lonely, especially on Valentine’s Day, remember relationships can represent any bond, not just romance.

If you have a dog, get them those peanut butter treats from Mud Bay and try some for yourself. You never know, they might be good. No, you try them first.

If you don’t have a dog, consider owning one if possible. Conduct some research on beneficial environments for dogs and how much care they need.

I hope you all enjoy Valentine’s Day, no matter which human or critter you spend it with.