14 Ways We Love (and Honor) our Pets at Miami

Dog in snow with red heart balloons and Miami M balloon.

By Kristin Magyari, Assistant Director for Communications and Marketing

Pet owners typically show their pets a lot of love and affection, and make their pet’s health and well-being a high priority. At Miami, we show our pets we love them in many ways and as members of our family, they love us back! With love in the air, let's explore 14 ways we love (and honor) our animals:

1. We treat our pets like family.

In the United States, pets are considered part of the family. Pets even show up on holiday cards sent to family and friends. Often, the pet is the main focus of the card, instead of the children of the family! Our pets also make the picture frames on our desks at work and school, are featured on our bedroom walls, and are the stars of our phone backgrounds. In the United States and at Miami, we love our animals so much that we like to see photos of them everywhere and always be reminded of our furry friends when we aren't at home with them.

picture frame of dogs on desk

Molly with dog2. Global Initiatives staff love their pets.

The majority of Miami's Global Initiatives staff, located in MacMillan Hall, own pets.

"I love my dog, Maisy, because she provides companionship, unconditional love and affection, and brings joy to our home. My husband and I love to take her for walks in the park and snuggle with her on the couch. We adopted her 3 years ago and are lucky to have her as part of our family." –Molly Heidemann, Associate Director of International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS), Miami University

Miami University Global Initiatives sctaff with pets, photo collage

3. We spend time with our pets.

Pet ownership requires time, attention, and money, and may not be a good idea for busy college students who are likely to be moving across the country or world within a few years. Our pets deserve lots of our time and love!

girl with dog outside in sun

4. We take our pets to the vet.

Pets require regular veterinary visits in order to stay healthy. This includes regular check-ups, vaccinations, routine tests, and treatment when your pet is sick. All of this costs time and money, but is vital to the health and well-being of your pet.

cat at vet

5. We exercise our dogs daily.

Did you know that dogs need a few walks a day? According to Pet MD, dogs need 30 minutes to 2 hours of activity per day, varying for different sizes and breeds. Do your research, ask the vet, and start your pet on a proper exercise schedule to ensure you are caring for them properly.

Beagle walking with leash on green grass

6. We take our dogs to the park.

The dogs of Oxford love running around at the local dog park. There are also a number of trails that Miami University and Oxford Community dog owners like to explore.

"Sammy became part of my life a couple of months before the loss my daughter. He’s been my Little Rock through the worst of tragedy. His unconditional love has pulled me through the toughest of times. People are always commenting that they have never seen such a happy dog. There are many great places to hike in this area, Miami University’s Natural Areas has some of the best trails. Silvoor Biological Sanctuary is one of my favorites." –Dan Garber, Retired Horticulturist at Miami University

Dan Garber with dog Sammy, selfie

7. The Miami Police Department K9 Unit

The police working dog is used as an investigative tool to enhance the capabilities of the police officer. Due to their enhanced olfactory capabilities, the police canine can assist officers in locating suspects that flee or hide and evidence that may help in the investigation of a crime. Police canine teams may be trained to locate explosives, narcotics, accelerants, cadavers or survivors of natural disasters and terrorist attacks.

"He’s my partner, and I trust him with my life. I trust him to alert me to any potential explosive devices or persons that would do me harm." –Officer Hibbard

Miami police officer with dog

8. The Crawfords adopted Ivy.

"Ivy is our third Golden Retriever – we have had a dog since we married 28 years ago. We love how Ivy keeps us exercising – she always wants to run. We love the attention she gets from our wonderful students who stop and greet her when we walk down East High Street! We love how much love she gives us. When we come home, even if we were away for just a half-hour, Ivy greets us like long-lost friends with hugs and that tail that wags like a whip." –Dr. Gregory P. Crawford and Dr. Renate Crawford

President Crawford with dog, Ivy

9. We appreciate our service animals.

At Miami, we have service animals in training and service animals for students, faculty, and staff in need. One student organization, 4 Paws for Ability, partners with a service dog training organization called 4 Paws for Ability in Xenia, Ohio. According to the Hub, "eligible students provide an initial level of fostering for dogs that involves socialization and education. The organization, including members who do not foster a dog, also educates and creates awareness about service dogs and helps to raise money for children who need a service dog. Open to all Miami University students."

Miami grad at commencement with service dog, in caps and gowns

10. We love our therapy animals, especially during mid-terms and finals.

The Student Counseling Service (SCS) is pleased to offer two pet therapy programs: Dog Therapy and Miniature Horse Therapy. Interacting with animals is a proven way to decrease stress and feel a sense of connection and acceptance. Keep your eyes and ears open for the next therapy animal session on-campus and consider joining!  

Miami student with therapy dog

11. We groom our pets.

It's important to groom our pets because it keeps them happy and healthy. Consider tasks like haircuts, baths, nail trims, and brushing. Some can be done at your home but others are better for the groomer or vet. There are plenty of resources here in Oxford that pet owners can utilize.

student grooming cat

12. We socialize our pets.

Like humans, pets need socialization with other pets and people; this point is especially crucial for dogs.

two dogs playing

13. We provide our pets with enough food and water, and treats too!

Caring for pets comes with the responsibilty of feeding them enough food and providing water at all times. It's like caring for an infant (baby) that cannot provide for themselves. Quick tip: thoroughly read the label on your pet's food container to determine the quantity that should be fed each day and make sure you stick to a consistent feeding schedule.

cat eating

14. We train our pets.

Are you a student at Miami who owns a dog? Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does your dog know how to sit?
  • Does your dog know how to lay down?
  • Does your dog know how to come?
  • Does your dog stay down and have you trained him/her to stay down without jumping on your guests when they enter your home?

If the answer to all of these isn't yes, consider training your loved pup or seeking a local training program. Behavioral training should definitely come first, but after you've nailed those tasks, you can explore fun tricks like "up, turn", "kiss", and more!

student training dog