The University of Southern California has added a new staff member at its student health center, and he’s already making people feel better.
Professor Beauregard Tirebiter is a black, two-year-old goldendoodle.
After witnessing the positive effects visiting therapy dogs had on students, university officials decided they should have one based in the student health center full time.
The addition of Beau to the staff makes USC one of the few universities in the United States with a full-time “facility dog” on staff, USC News reported.
We applaud the university for that — but not for the label “facility dog.”
Surely all the great minds at that institution could have come up with a better term than that.
As the university Office for Wellness and Health Promotion explained it,
“a facility dog is similar to a therapy dog, but rather than being trained to work periodically with individuals, he’s trained to work with a multitude of people on a regular basis in a facility such as a hospital, school or nursing home.”
Why not just call him what he is, a therapy dog? There should be no stigma attached to that, and no need to tiptoe around it. Everybody needs therapy, especially a student, particularly during finals.
Calling him a “facility dog” is pretty vague. Defining him by the building he works in, as opposed to his job/mission, is a little insulting, like the term “junkyard dog.”
And “facility” is so similar to “faculty” that some hastily compiled news reports are calling him the latter.
Beau did come to campus with a curriculum vitae, though. He was trained at Canine Angels Service Teams in Oregon.
He has office hours, and his own business cards, and paw prints lead students to his location at the Engemann Student Health Center.
He was purchased with money from a donation by the Trojan League of Los Angeles, an alumni group, to promote student wellness.
Beau has been on campus for a few weeks now. He goes home at night with Amanda Vanni, his handler and a health promotion specialist at the center.
In hiring Beau, the university seems to be acknowledging all the research that shows dogs can help decrease stress, create a sense of calm and well being, and that contact with them can increase serotonin, beta-endorphin and oxytocin – chemicals and hormones that make people happy.
Paula Lee Swinford, director of the Office of Wellness and Health Promotion, said Beau will also help create a sense of community at USC.
“We wanted to do something that would change our culture,” she said. “What Beau brings is a consistent relationship for students. … He will remember them.”
Speaking of culture change, the university might want to take another look at its antiquated policy that bans dogs from classrooms, university housing, offices and research areas because they can be “disruptive as well as unsanitary.”
(Photos by Gus Ruelas / USC)
Posted by John Woestendiek September 23rd, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, beauregard tirebiter, benefits, campus, canine angels, dog, dogs, engemann, facility dog, golden doodle, goldendoodle, health, health center, pet policy, pets, students, terminology, therapy dog, trojan league, university of southern california, usc
I’m all for dogs on college campuses, and all for campus security.
But news that the governor of Ohio wants every campus in the state to have its own bomb-sniffing dog troubles me — mostly for what it says about our times.
Youngstown State University was presented a bomb-sniffing dog Monday as part of a pilot program that officials eventually hope to expand throughout the state’s public universities, the Associated Press reported.
Bomb sniffing dogs were to be presented at Ohio State University yesterday and at Bowling Green State University today.
Kent State University already has one, and wants to get another.
Ohio’s public safety director, John Born, says it’s all part of Gov. John Kasich’s plans to strengthen school safety for students — from preschool to college age.
Born says the dogs can respond to threats and conduct security sweeps for large-scale events, such as athletic games or visits by dignitaries.
It costs more than $12,700 to buy each animal and pay for initial training and equipment. Ohio Homeland Security is covering the costs with federal grant money.
The universities provide the officers who become the dogs’ full-time handlers.
“There’s just not enough explosives dogs in the state for the need depending on where you are, so this is hopefully the beginning of a more comprehensive effort,” Born said.
Participating universities have to agree that the dogs will be available if there is an off-campus need, such as a threat at a high school.
(Photo: Ohio State University police officer Joanna Shaul and her canine, courtesy of Ohio State University)
Posted by John Woestendiek June 11th, 2014 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bomb, bombs, campus, canines, college, detecting, dogs, explosive, explosives, governor, john kasich, ohio, pets, police, school, security, sniffing, universities
Lees-McRae College, located in the mountains of North Carolina, has designated its first pet-friendly dormitory, allowing students who live there to bring along their dogs, cats, birds, fish, ferrets, and hamsters.
With the opening of the Spring 2011 semester, Bentley Residence Hall went co-species.
“I am so excited that Lees-McRae College has joined the ranks of pet friendly colleges and universities. We love our pets and we recognize that students who are pet owners are generally responsible and caring individuals,” said Barry M. Buxton, president of the Presbyterian college. “We want to encourage pet adoption and awareness that all of God’s creatures are sacred.”
Students living in Bentley Hall are now allowed to bring their pets from home to school with them to live in their rooms. Under the new policy, qualifying students can have fish, hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, birds, ferrets, cats and dogs under 40 pounds. (We’d argue dogs over 40 pounds are sacred, too.)
Previously, students were only allowed to have fish in residence hall rooms.
Under the new pet friendly policy, faculty and staff are also encouraged to bring their pets to campus.
“It is great to be able to have my two dogs for companionship while I am studying and doing homework in my room,” said student Lauren Lampley, owner of Shih Tzus Heidi and Buckley. “This responsibility also forces me to manage my time well enough to take care of them and make sure I make time to spend with them.”
The approved pets for the inaugural pet friendly program include a Boston Terrier, a small Labrador retriever, two Shih Tzus, a pomeranian/Chihuahua mix, a miniature dachshund, a Maine coon mix, a Siamese mix, a leopard gecko, a Dutch rabbit, two ferrets and two birds.
The new policy represents the latest in a trend toward colleges welcoming pets, noted Joshua Fried, director of Petside.com: “We know how much the companionship of a pet can benefit a college student, particularly in the form of stress-relief and as a remedy for homesickness.”
“Now I have two alarms,” one student joked. “When I ignore my alarm clock, my dog licks my face and my nose until I get up. She really cares about my education.”
Lees-McRae College, a four-year, co-educational liberal arts college, is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of northwestern North Carolina in the town of Banner Elk.
(Photo courtesy of Lees-McCrae College)
Posted by John Woestendiek January 28th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: allowed, allows, animals, banner elk, bentley hall, birds, campus, cats, colleges, dog, dog friendly, dogs, dormitory, education, ferrets, gecko, guniea pigs, hamsters, lees-mcrae college, life, new, pet friendly, pets north carolina, policy, rabbit, stress, students, universities
At Susquehanna University in Pennsylvania, faculty and staff bring their dogs to school every Tuesday during September, gather on a grassy field and allow students to have their homesickness washed away by spending an hour with the hounds.
The events are aimed at helping students overcome their homesickness, which often includes a longing for the family dog, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. The “Dog Days” have been held on campus for five years.
They were started by former counseling director Kathy Bradley, now executive director of health and counseling at Gettysburg College. Bradley has started a similar program there. A few times a semester, Bucknell University in Lewisburg, which heard about Susquehanna’s program, brings trained therapy dogs – some owned by staff members – to campus to visit with students.
“The fact is that students miss their pets, sometimes more than they miss their families,” said Anna Beth Payne, associate dean of student life and director of Susquehanna’s counseling center.
Professors especially like the opportunity for the informal gatherings, saying they break the ice and can help make the campus, and the professors, seem less intimidating to students.
Nine dogs showed up on a recent Tuesday, a typical turnout, and dozens of students stopped to play with them, one of whom said she missed her dog, Babe, back home in Maine — at leas as much as she missed her mother.
“It’s a close tie between the dog and my mom,” she said.
(Philadelphia Inquirer photo by Robert Landry)
Posted by John Woestendiek October 5th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: bucknell, campus, college, colleges, dog, dogs, educations, gettysburg college, homesick, homesickness, life, parents, pennsylvania, pets, professors, students, susquehanna university, universities
The Pet Therapy study break on the Madison campus was held again yesterday, with staff from University Health Services bringing their dogs to the Library Mall so students can pet and play with them.
In addition to the dogs soothing frazzled nerves, counselors from the school offer advice on how to deal with finals week — including telling them that all-night cram sessions are not the way to go. A good night’s sleep will probably be more valuable.
Students at the campus in Madison can also get free one-on-one counseling, and for $40, massage therapy.
(Photo: A scene from last year’s break, The Capital Times)
Posted by John Woestendiek May 7th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: annual, break, campus, college, counseling, dog, dogs, final exams, library mall, madison, massage, pet therapy, petting, playing, stress, study, tests, therapy, university health services, university of wisonsin, week
The UW Board of Regents decided in a meeting last month that non-service animals will no longer be permitted inside buildings, according to The Daily, the student newspaper.
The changes also prohibit leaving animals unattended or tethered to campus property and allows them to be seized and impounded.
UW Police Department Assistant Chief Ray Wittmier said the new policy followed a dog bite incident in Parrington Hall.
Wittmier said the department would respond to complaints and ask pet owners to take their animals out of a building. Owners would be cited or banned from campus if they refuse.
“[Violators] will always get a warning first,” Wittmier said. “If somebody doesn’t have ties to campus, they could be banned. Someone on campus will be handled as an employment-type issue. Employment could be terminated. Other actions could affect students and their student status.”
No word on whether the changes apply to Dubs, the dog that serves as school mascot. Judging from his blog, he seems to be allowed indoors, or at least inside the football stadium and basketball arena.
Posted by John Woestendiek April 7th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ban, bans, board, buildings, campus, college, dogs, dubs, indoors, mascot, policy, regents, seattle, tethered, university of washington, washington