Seth Mumford

Seth excels at Iowa State thanks to man’s best friend

In the fall of 2013 Seth started his adventure at Iowa State, leaving behind his family members and their three dogs. Even though he enjoyed his classes and activities on campus, he still felt homesick and searched for ways to make Iowa State feel more like home.

As a freshman, he lived in Wallace-Wilson residence hall. The hall adviser had a dog Seth enjoyed playing with occasionally. Although he really loved visiting, it was not the same as coming home to his own, loyal dogs back in the Quad Cities.

Seth also enjoyed “Barks@Parks,” an event at Parks Library where students can come and play with comfort dogs during Dead Week. Skeptical, he thought dogs in a library seemed improbable, but he still checked it out. He was glad he did.

“It was a good coping method for stress,” he said, “you get to sit, pet a dog, and temporarily forget about tests.”

Even though the comfort dogs helped, Seth still missed his pets back home. After his first year at Iowa State, he moved into University Village hoping he could adopt a dog. During regular browsing of Craigslist, Seth randomly checked the pet listings and found a family looking to find a new home for its dog. After a long interview process, Seth became the proud owner of Sawyer, a young female pug.

Sawyer quickly had a positive impact. Seth and his roommate adjusted their schedules to jointly take responsibility for her needs. Sawyer became great company and entertainment while Seth made sure she was taken care of and loved. He found himself going home to Sawyer more often which increased the time he spent studying. The semester after getting Sawyer, Seth performed his best academically. He is thankful for his new best friend. He believes having a dog positively affects a student’s college experience, but only if that student is ready for the time commitment involved in owning a pet.

“Getting your own dog is a whole new ball game,” he said, “it’s almost like having a child, so if you are considering getting one, make sure you are responsible. Sure, they provide emotional support, but remember you provide something to them too.”