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D1 Pet Family

By Tiffany Huang, Class of 2026

As the D1s begin settling into their second month as student dentists and studying their nights away, there is one thing that is always patiently waiting for a slice of attention- their furry or feathery companions. Today we will be discussing what it’s like to balance school, life, and pet parent life. Cue the montage!

Meet Lentil the Parrot! Shana L. shared with me how Lentil has positively impacted her life as a D1. She says, “Lentil has been an asset to my school life balance. He always greets me when I get home from class and his clownish nature makes me laugh. It astounds me how big of a personality a little bird can have! I’m so glad I decided to bring him along my dental school journey.” (It’s always a pleasure to see Lentil on Shana’s Instagram page, I would highly recommend)

Studies have shown that having a pet has a plethora of benefits, whether it is physically, mentally, and/or emotionally. According to, pets can provide companionship, reduce anxiety, provide sensory stress relief, help you meet new people, increase exercise, etc. Plus many more!

Class VP, Akshani, shares how Simba enhances her days. “Having a pet can be a huge responsibility when balancing a heavy workload; however, the one thing that I learned is that having a pet is extremely therapeutic for my mental health. Coming home from school each day, I know that I will have the happiest boy wagging his tail at 100 mph at my front door waiting to celebrate the little accomplishments that I had. Not only is he my biggest fan, but he also forces me to take at least an hour out of my day to disconnect from school and enjoy the nature of Arizona during our early morning and late night walks. There aren't enough words to say how much Simba has enhanced my life in dental school and I would recommend anyone and everyone to get a pet of some sort. They are nothing short of life-changing.” What a lovely story, Akshani!

There is no doubt that having a supporting companion with us through these challenging times can be helpful. Tony G. shares how he believes Sasha, the adopted Siberian Husky,

would have enhanced his dental school experience if he had brought Sasha with him. “She would help me have a better balance between school and personal life because she motivates me to get up, go outside, and discover more of my surroundings…having her around would make me feel less lonely and relieve my school-related stress when I get home. Seeing her makes me happy. I miss keeping each other company, and being with her gives me another focus in life aside from schoolwork, such as strengthening our relationship through time together and training.” Don’t worry Tony! You are always welcome to destress with one of our furry friends.

However, it isn’t always sunshine and rainbows being a pet parent. As a dog mom myself, juggling academics, social life, and having a fur baby is not always easy. A challenge I face

with Bagel, the Pomeranian, is the guilty parent feeling. For example, if we have long days at school in addition to social obligations after class. In times like this, the quote, “Dogs might be in just a small part of our lives, but to them, we are their whole life” by Roger Caras lingers in the back of my mind digging a deeper hole of guilt within me. Some other challenges are making sure he can go outside to use the bathroom, fulfill his exercise needs, and have timely feeding.

However, these small nuances are worth it at the end of the day when I get to come home to a wagging tail, whether I am gone for 5 minutes grabbing the mail or 8 hours of lecture. We make time and adjustments for those we love, and our pet companions are no exception. But whether you have a companion or not, please make sure to take care of yourselves and drink lots of water. Happy studying everyone, and don’t forget to check in with the people/pets that care about you!

P.S. Always remember, WE CAN DO HARD THINGS!

Thank you for your contributions everyone!


Alfonso, Evan. Sitka and Her Date.

Benrey, Rachel. Corgi and Labrador.

Guan, Tony. Sasha the Siberian Husky.

Hanna, Abanoub. Abanoub with Cat.

Huang, Tiffany. Mr. Bagel the Pomeranian in Big Bear, CA.

Lavender, Taylor. Millie’s Birthday.

Levenson, Shana. Lentil the Parrot with Shana.

Patel, Akshani. Akshani with Simba.

Robinson, Lawrence. “The Health and Mood-Boosting Benefits of Pets.”, 6 Sept. 2022,,valuable%20companionship%20for%20older%20adults.

Zapanta, Razel. Razel with Dog.

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2 comentários

20 de set. de 2022

Wonderful Job!!!

Tiffany Huang
Tiffany Huang
20 de set. de 2022
Respondendo a

Thank you!!! 😁

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