Today was evidently the final day for the Unity and Respect picture on the steps of Wait Chapel. In each of the four weeks we’ve been doing this photo, more and more folks showed up. If you follow Wake Forest University on Facebook, you can see a really fun time lapse video of everyone arriving and lining up for the shot.
Sometime while we were either setting up to take the shot or chatting with folks afterwards, I noticed a student mid-Quad who had a dog on a leash. Only the dog had broken free and was running just out of hand’s reach of the owner. Dog owner was desperately trying to get a hold of the leash so the dog didn’t get away. It only took a couple of jukes and jives and the owner was able to get a foot on the leash and stop the dog.
This got me thinking about dogs on campus. Students miss their pets from home something awful (pets are not allowed in the residence halls unless they are service animals, I believe is the rule). As I have said to many parents – your students can call/text/email you, but they can’t do that to the beloved family dog, unless maybe via Skype (and only if their dog is smart enough to respond to Skype).
So whenever there is a dog around, people come out of the woodwork to pet the dog and get their animal fix. Most of the time these dog moments are organic and not planned – some local person/nearby resident/faculty or staff member walking a dog across campus on a nice day. Maybe it is one of the seniors living off campus who has a dog in his/her apartment and bringing it to campus for exercise.
There are a few more regular occurrences of dogs on campus. One is our Communication professor, Allan Louden, who for as long as I have worked here has had the most beautiful and well-behaved Golden Retrievers. Dr. Louden could put his previous dog at a ‘down’ and ‘stay’ outside of Benson and go in and have a leisurely lunch, and his dog would still be there afterwards. Amazing. He lost his last dog, Miss Ming (for Wyoming), a year or so ago. I saw him at the Thrive kick off in early September with a new dog, Glacier. If you are lucky enough to be a Comm major, a Debater, or someone whose schedule is in sync with his, you can see and pet this beauty of a dog.
We have also had service dogs on campus. My favorite from many years ago was a beautiful yellow lab named Paul. Paul had lost one of his canine teeth, and it had been replaced by a big silver one, which was a riot to see. I saw a service dog the other day, a nice black lab. Not sure if this is the one I saw, but I found a picture in our photo archive.
A semi-regular time to see dogs on campus is during finals (and maybe midterms too), campus groups host Puppies on the Quad, where the Humane Society brings dogs out for students to pet, and walk, and play with (and learn about adoption too, for those in a position to do so). During Puppies on the Quad, the looks of glee and joy on students’ faces is amazing.
I’m still holding out for a Take Your Dog to Work Day. I bet student morale would soar 🙂
– by Betsy Chapman
Categories: campus life