Good for you! It's hard to take that first plunge! I really hope you make it out here to CSU! You would love Ft. Collins (not far from Boulder) The weather is great, the mountains are beautiful and it's pretty stable economy wise. I think the only thing you would miss is having water. I do miss having a large body of water here, but not the humidity,lol!
My bosses wife went to vet school at Washington State and while they liked it, it was far from the coast and not as much to do in the area.
There is a lot to do in the area especially for dogs if you want to do something with Berlin and Denver is not that far away if you are itching for some urban happenings. The only thing they don't have is....Da Bears!