Hot take: Dog people are weird

Bridgette Simpson, Satire Co-Editor

The leaves are beginning to fall and the weather is finally cooling off as campus transitions from summer to autumn. Everyone is losing their minds.

It is officially the sixth week of on-campus classes, and students, faculty and staff at the University are still adjusting to the new normal due to coronavirus restrictions. Everything is different, and six weeks have not given any indication that people are getting used to it.

One of the biggest changes that can be observed, every Monday night near the Bertrand Library, is a small group of students, usually crying. They sit down and stand around in a little circle and just cry. Obviously, I was caught off-guard when I first observed them and have since begun to avoid them out of respect (but not before I found out what was going on).

The absence of the therapy dogs that visited the library every Monday night last year has negatively impacted several students, hence the crying and routine gathering near the usual spot the dogs could be found. It reminds me of a vigil without candles.

“It’s just so hard to come back to school where everything is different and some classes are online and the food is absolutely horrific, like even worse than last year, and not be able to see my dogs or pet the therapy ones,” Bern Ard ’22 said. “I guess I just miss my routine break on Monday nights and I miss the awesome dogs we used to get to see. I feel like I really bonded with some of them.”

This very wholesome quote from Ard demonstrates the complexity and severity of the issue of missing therapy dogs this year. Due to changes in our daily lives as a result of the pandemic, the therapy dogs were deemed too dangerous to continue because of the spread of germs.

However, this change has other implications, such as decreasing the amount of healthy coping mechanisms for stress some students have access to, a response that likely wasn’t anticipated at all. 

“Yo, I just really miss the dogs. Okay? I’m not gonna cry over it, but I definitely miss the poodle named Fancy that would come by here a lot,” Russell Jack ’21 said as he began to cry. “I’m not sure why this is happening right now since I never cry, but all I know is that Fancy always wanted the best for me and I miss her. We had so many good times together.”

Hopefully the dogs will make a comeback soon, but even if not, the group of students who regularly are seen crying outside of the library has made a sign-up sheet that is hanging in the library. They want to know if anyone has a dog and would like to let them pet it. I’d also like to pet your dog, if you have one. 

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