STORY BY JESSICA CAMPBELL
You open the door to your room and you’re greeted by repeated kisses. You were missed.
Whether you were gone for one hour or one day, your room is a happier place now that you’re back. You whipe the remaining saliva off your face.
Many believe the policy that forbids students from having pets in residence halls is absurd.
The policy, according to the Office of Residence Life Handbook, states that any pets, except for fish, are not allowed in the residence hall, as they can create potential for safety and sanitization hazards. If reasons to attempt ownership of the pet fails, an animal shelter may be called.
If you have fish in your dorm room, their tanks can be no larger than 10 gallons and must be removed from the residence hall for winter and spring break.
Jeff Foreman, senior, and Philip Degraffenreid, junior, saw the policy as a rule worth breaking.
“Boots was the nicest cat ever,” Degraffenreid said, reminiscing on his love for Boots the cat.
“It was funny because my RA, Lucas Baker, and basically the whole building knew about our pet. We took good enough care of him so nobody said anything.” Degraffenreid said.
Degraffenreid was more relaxed with Boots around.
“Pets are proven to reduce stress and it was fun to play with him. He was just an all around great cat,” Degraffenreid said.
Boots could be trusted to stay in the room alone while everyone else was at class.
“He would really just do his own thing,” Degraddenreid said.
Not everyone found this much ease when breaking the rules. Foreman was willing to risk everything to make sure Biblo had a nice home.
“We found Bilbo on the street. He was covered in mud and was frightened. We cleaned him up and got him his shots,” Foreman said.
Foreman, along with roommate Tyler Nelson, knew the rewards of having a pet outweighed the risks. But both residents went to great lengths to avoid trouble with their RA.
“We would sneak him out in a duffel bag. This is how we would take him outside to go to the bathroom or on a walk,” Foreman said.
Although it sounded bad, Biblo accepted the routine, knowing the duffel bag meant it was time to be outside.
“Biblo got plenty of attention. The girls rooming below us helped take care of him, but we made sure our RA never found out,” Foreman said.
Foreman’s love for Biblo overshadowed any doubt of potential punishment.
“The best part about having a dog was just how relaxing it is to have a pet. It was really cool to take him in and raise him. It just made me feel really good, and that was one of the best parts of having a dog.” Foreman replied.
Biblo is no longer a secret, and is living happily with Tyler Nelson’s parents in Colorado.
He enjoys being able to go outside without his duffel bag.
Sam Olea, a sophomore living in Goodwin-Kirk Hall, would love to come back from class and be greeted by a pet.
“You would come back to a loving animal who is excited to see you and play with you no matter what,” Olea said.