When I left for college three years ago, I mentally prepared myself to say goodbye to my family. I knew move-in day would be tough, but at least I would have the entire day with them before I actually had to say my goodbyes. However, halfway through my drive up to school, I suddenly felt a wave of panic spread over me. A pit formed in my stomach.
I had forgotten to say goodbye to my dog. What was he going to think? How could I just leave him like that?
I worried for a while that my relationship with my dog had been ruined. But instead, it has become stronger than ever. I've started to learn that when it comes to my dog, distance really does make the heart grow fonder.
If you're anything like me, some people may think you're crazy. But you know they're just jealous. If you're not sure if you're like me, here are six indicators that will tell you if your dog — like mine — has truly become your bae:
1. When you're away, you miss your dog more than you miss your family.
Sorry fam, but it's true. My friends at school laugh at me when I suddenly get sad and state that I miss my dog.
Now that we also have a new puppy in our house, people seem to feel the need to send me videos of both of them all the time. As if I don't miss my dog enough, they now torture me with videos to remind me that he is so close, yet so far.
2. You try to talk to your dog via Skype or on the phone.
I don't ever Skype or FaceTime with my family, but I know plenty of people who do. Their dogs are always in on the call.
I will admit, however, that any time I am on speaker phone and know my dog is in the room, I start talking to him instead of to my mom. Nothing brings me more joy than knowing he recognizes my voice over the phone, and even more, that he is ecstatic to hear it.
3. Halfway through your drive home, you realize how close you are to seeing your dog. This makes you speed up.
I don't know why, but usually when I am about an hour away from home, I realize I'm going to see my dog soon. Then, I just need to get there even sooner. There's no greater feeling than surprising your dog and seeing his or her pure joy once you've arrived.
4. When you go home, you run to say "hi" to your dog before you greet your family.
Usually, my dog is jumping up and down at the door when I get home, as if my arrival is the greatest thing to ever happen to him. However, if he isn't, I run through the house until I find him, ignoring family members along the way. Sometimes, my family gets upset because I'm more excited to see my dog than I am to see them.
5. Whenever you're home, you take your dog on dates.
Lately, whenever I come home, I take my dog to various parks and recreation trails nearby for nice, long walks. He goes crazy whenever I pull out his leash, and I relish in the fact that I'm his favorite.
Throughout the drive and the walk, I have full conversations with him, as if I'm on a date. I try to stop talking when I see people coming, but I have received a few strange looks from fellow walkers as I've been telling my dog about the project I'm working on at school.
6. When you're sick, you know there's nothing better than having your dog cuddled up to you all day.
No one -- and I mean no one -- can argue with me on this one. If I'm given the choice between cuddling my dog and cuddling a significant other when I'm sick, I choose my dog every time.
Why? Because my dog won't get annoyed while I complain all day about my imminent death.
Added bonus: If you complain to your dog about how much your life sucks, but do it in an upbeat tone, your dog will wag his or her tail and become really happy, thus making you realize that life isn't so bad after all.
So, there it is everyone. Forget everyone else. Dogs truly are bae.