When their kids go away to college, sure, parents will miss them. But for most, they know they were bound to leave the nest eventually. It’s part of growing up.

Try telling this to a pet. They have no concept of time. They just know their best friend is gone. They want them back and don’t understand why they’ve left them in the first place.

For college student, Annie Shi, her family’s dog, Tara hasn’t had an easy time of it adjusting to her absence. Annie left for college last fall, and poor Tara misses her. When Annie lived at home, she and Tara would have their quality time together as human and dog will do, curling up and cuddling in bed.

Annie learned of Tara’s trouble when her parents sent her regular updates: Tara isn’t without love and attention, but she still seeks out Annie in vain: “She misses me,” Annie told The Dodo. “She has been getting my parents to open the door to my room  for her while I’m away.”

Once tara realizes Annie’s bedroom is empty; she appears heartbroken and disappointed. She walks away dejected.

Her human friend’s bedroom is her favorite place, but not without Annie. The young woman’s father noticed this. He did something lovely in an attempt to help Tara.

He started using that space as his office. This has made all the difference to Tara: “Tara won’t stay in the room if there’s no one with her, so Dad has been working in my room every day,” Annie said.

While Annie’s dad sits at her desk and does his work, Tara will stay curled up in the bed, just as she did before while Annie was home.

Annie suspects her father didn’t just change his routine because of Tara: “It might be because he misses me too,” she said.

Though Tara has begun to adjust to her favorite human’s absence, the new setup does soothe her. Annie though does come home as often as she can manage: “I’ve missed her so much, but the train ride home only takes three hours,” Annie said. “She’s  always eager to see me!”

While she’s away at school, Annie is comforted by the fact that she’s not far from the hearts and thoughts of those who love her dearly. Especially her beloved dog, Tara.