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People Are Freaking Out After This College Student Called His Dog "Dum"

He meant it in a sweet way!

Posted on June 12, 2017, at 3:45 p.m. ET

This is Ryan Niemchick, 21, and his mom Li Chun. They live in Michigan. A few years ago, Ryan left home for college.

Ryan Niemchick

But Alex, their family pupper, still regularly waits right outside Ryan's bedroom door as though he never left for school, Li Chun told BuzzFeed News.

Ryan Niemchick

She said it was "sad and sweet" that he waits for her absent son. Ryan said Alex stands vigil for him "at least a few times per week," and sometimes more after Ryan visits home and then leaves again. "I love him," the college student said of the loyal little fluff.

Ryan Niemchick

But Twitter called Ryan's ~love~ into question last Wednesday after Ryan tweeted evidence of his dog's commitment.

@SheaSerrano When I go off to college my dog doesn't realize I'm gone and waits outside my door for me to come back

So many people took issue with the adjective "dum" — they completely lost it. "Alex loves you with his entire puppy soul and you just call him a 'Dum dog' smh," wrote this person.

Alex loves you with his entire puppy soul and you just call him a "Dum dog" smh

"Dum dog? Don't you ever disrespect that angel named Alex ever again."

Dum dog? Don’t you ever disrespect that angel named Alex ever again

"Alex deserves better."

Alex deserves better

Another person even said that it was selfish for Ryan to go off to school. "Get home," this person demanded.

? Drop out of college? Get home. Don't be selfish Alex is waiting

Ryan said that he used "dum" as a term of endearment. "Aw, 'dum dog' kind of like—'oh, you know, I miss him and it's sad I’m gone and I can’t really see him right now.'" He said that he even left the "b" off "dumb" so as to make the descriptor more playful.

i would give my life for alex

Not all the criticism on Twitter was lighthearted. “I have gotten a lot of hate messages and threats which is kind of not that cool," the student said. He said that's he's received around 10 death threats.

No you did not call Alex a "dum dog". I hope you fail all of your classes.

Ryan used this Spongebob meme to explain that 'dum' was used with loving intent.

@onlyforsocial07 @SheaSerrano It was a loveable dumb, like spongebob when he was trying to let go of mystery


He also updated his Twitter bio.

@ryanniemchick / Via Twitter: @ryanniemchick

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.