You might not be an animal person, but there comes a point in the semester when the work actually gets hard and the novelty is gone and you just need unconditional love. Since Heavy Petting can only happen so often, and you have to divide the puppy love among hundreds of students, it’s time to take matters into your own hands. Instead of FaceTime-ing your cat (which is apparently a thing?), take a look around campus–there are a number of places right outside your dorm where you can get some prime animal action.
Main Green. For reasons I will never understand due to the high probability of being flocked by students, a number of people walk their dogs across the Main Green daily. This can happen at any time of day, but the chunk of time between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. typically sees the highest concentration of dogs.
Pro: It’s the easiest place on campus to set up shop and even the laziest of students are bound to see a dog at some point.
Con: You’ll probably have to share your dog time with the hoards of other students dying for affection as well.
Pembroke. Like a little sister to the Main Green, the grassy fields at Pembroke offer the ability to set up shop on a smaller scale. Although the dog-walkers aren’t as populous as they are on the Main Green, Pembroke’s less crowded, giving you a better chance of more one-on-one time. A variety of dog breeds walk through, from Shih Tzus to beagles to Labradors, meaning that whatever your dog predilection may be, you’re bound to be in luck.
Pro: these dog walkers are timely and consistent, so it’s a pretty safe that you’ll see at least two if you go around 5 p.m.
Con: A smaller green means a shorter area to intercept the dog, so you have to work fast.
Providence Parks. If you’re looking for something a little more isolated, and outside of the college bubble, there are a few parks near campus that offer ample animal availability. Fox Point Park on Wickenden Street is fenced in and well-kept, creating a lovely atmosphere for dog-watching. Owners of smaller pooches like to let their pets run around the fenced-in green next to the playground. Close by is India Point Park, right on the water, where bigger dogs play catch in the open fields. Although they’re around 15 minutes from campus, the parks are near a bunch of cute coffee shops, so it’s kinda worth it. The best time to go is early-ish morning, so if you’re feeling particularly adventurous/desperate for affection, you could go for a run to the park and start the day right.
Pro: No one else will be there, so you’ll probably get dogs all to yourself for as long the owner will let you.
Con: The parks are far – there’s no getting around that.
Bonus! There has been the occasional spotting of an incredibly cute puppy outside of the Granoff Center, AND the owners are more than happy to let you actually hold it for a little bit.
Pro: The puppy is incredibly aggressive with its kisses, taking animal affection to a whole new level.
Con: None. Literally none.
Take advantage of the puppy playtime while you can! Winter is coming far too quickly, and soon it will be too cold to for you to reasonably loiter around waiting for dogs to pass. Unless that means cute little dog coats and boots, in which case getting hypothermia is completely worth it.
Images via and via Sarah Campbell Tucker ’19.