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Adopting a New Best Friend

Sean Neff

Sean Neff,
Senior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 5 November 2017

When someone asks, “What’s the one thing you miss most about home?” My answer from freshman year all the way to senior year remained the same: “I miss my dog.” It’s a common answer from a lot of college students. Yet, because I lived in the dorms for Air Force ROTC for three years, I was never able to get the chance to adopt my own new best friend to remedy my home-dog-sickness.

Now in my senior year, I live in an apartment complex that is dog-friendly…so I was finally able look at adopting dogs from the local shelters.

It was a long process, looking at all the options available for adopting a new best friend. There were so many amazing dogs that were fun and had such great personalities. On a beautiful October weekend, I took a trip to a rescue shelter just south of Athens. They had over 50 dogs at the shelter, a lot of which were rescues from the southern part of the country due to the hurricanes earlier this fall.

The shelter workers took me to see all of the dogs, but right before we were going to leave, they showed me one more room. In that room was a happy and smiling black Labrador retriever named Molly. After we took her out of her pen, I knew immediately that this dog was the one. She was so full of life and energy. I had to take her home that day, and I did.

Molly

Her story is quite remarkable as well. She is a survivor of Hurricane Harvey in Houston, being pulled out of the flood waters by rescue workers. After her owners couldn’t be found, she traveled the 17-hour car ride to Athens to be put into the rescue shelter.

She has been such a bright spot in my life this semester. Even though ROTC and school have been incredibly busy, it’s such a good feeling to come home to a bright smiling face. She loves running around in our apartment greenspace and chasing birds from the bushes. She’s always down to go for a walk or a run to the dog park.

Her favorite thing to do is play fetch at Strouds Run State Park. I’ve never seen a creature happier than when someone throws a stick or ball across the lake at Strouds and she swims after it. It is unbelievable to me to think about how our two worlds collided, and I don’t think we both could be any luckier to have each other.

Research over Winter Break

Nathan Arnett

Nathan Arnett,
Junior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 12 January 2017

Christmas break always seems to come at the perfect time—after 15 weeks of classes and more immediately after a mentally-taxing finals week, the break always seems much needed. Going home to see family and spend the holidays with them is something I look forward to every year, and this year was no different.

However, this year’s break wasn’t all relaxing. I have been a member of an on-campus molecular biology lab since Fall 2015, working under the close supervision of a postdoctoral fellow in the lab. For some time, we have been planning a large ‘mouse study’ looking into the link between Growth Hormone and melanoma cancer, and the study was to take place in early January following winter break.

However, over break, the postdoc I work with took advantage of one of her free times of the year and took a vacation with some friends—leaving me in charge of cell culture preparation for the study.

Living only an hour and a half away, the multiple visits I made to the lab over break were well worth it. It was great experience to take on serious responsibility in such early stages of a large project such as this, and it also gave me a small dose of seeing Athens (albeit, a nearly empty Athens) when I otherwise would have been missing it!

All in all, my break was very enjoyable, and being able to still further my experience while helping out on large project made it that much more enjoyable.