Paige Smith | Online Editor
It is at the point in the semester where the stress is upon us and the papers and exams are piling on. This is the time where we all begin to look at ways to cope with the stress of being a college student. Some may be looking at flights back home for a “getaway weekend” to de-stress and relax.
When this time of the year rolls around, animals can be a great stress-reliever. Playing with our dogs, cats, hamsters or whatever animal that makes us happy can provide the perfect companionship amidst a time of academic pressure.
While we cannot always travel back home to see our favorite pets, the next best option is looking locally for place to find furry friends. You could go to a coffee shop and hope that a few dogs come around, but there are more effective options to get the fix for animal withdrawals.
A getaway to the beach offers more than just the perk of being at the ocean. With the El Niño weather we are having, many mammals are coming closer to shore, some even onto the sand. While it is safe to stay away from those and simply enjoy their presence from a distance, you can often see dogs running around the beach. If the owner is fine with it, you might even be able to play with a new furry friend right there on the coast!
A perfect beach to go to is Rosie’s Dog Beach in Long Beach, located only 37 miles from APU. Take a stroll out there, play in the ocean and enjoy the company of the dogs at the beach.
If you are a fan of larger animals or reptiles, the Los Angeles Zoo may be the place for you. The LA Zoo is only 25 miles away from APU. While admission is $20, you have the opportunity to check out all kinds of creatures, including mandrills, chimpanzees, gorillas and koala bears! This is the place to go if you want to enjoy a wide variety of animals.
A few events to check out here are the Reindeer Romp and the Zoo Lights. Both are perfect locations for some photo opportunities with roommates and friends. Checking out reindeer and Christmas lights is the perfect way to start the holidays. These events begin Nov. 27 and run through Jan. 3.
For all of those who want quality time loving dogs and cats, the San Gabriel Valley Humane Society might just be the place for you. They are seeking volunteers to help walk and groom the dogs and socialize with both cats and dogs. This is the perfect place to take however long you want to help out while getting your animal fix in and the stress out. To find out more, check out their website at http://www.sgvhumane.org/.
Off-Campus Pet Sitting
If you live off campus and want to dog sit, or if you live on campus and are comfortable enough to stay at another’s home, you can dog sit through dogvacay.com. This site allows you to pet sit for a family while they are out of town. So whether the pet stays at your place (off-campus housing only), or you stay there, you get all the time you want—until the owners come back, that is! Visit their website for more information.