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Furry friends at UWT: Huskies set to become permanent residents on campus

UW Tacoma introduces a paw-sitively delightful addition to campus life with the launch of its new initiative – welcoming huskies as campus dogs to enhance student experience and well-being.

In a groundbreaking move to foster a more inclusive and supportive campus environment, the University of Washington Tacoma has announced the introduction of huskies as permanent residents on campus. Inspired by the growing trend of office dogs in workplaces, the initiative aims to provide students with furry companionship and emotional support throughout their academic journey. 

Starting this spring semester, students and faculty can expect to encounter friendly huskies roaming the university grounds, offering tail wags, wet noses and plenty of cuddles to brighten their day. The decision to implement this innovative program reflects the university’s commitment to holistic student well-being and recognizes the positive impact that animal companionship can have on mental health and stress relief. 

“We are thrilled to unveil this unique initiative, which we believe will greatly enrich the student experience,” said Dr. Tailwagger. “Our campus dogs will serve as ambassadors of joy and comfort, fostering a sense of community and belonging among our diverse student body.” 

Under the supervision of trained handlers, the campus huskies will undergo specialized obedience training to ensure they are well-behaved and responsive to human interaction. They will be equipped with identifiable purple vests and golden collars, making them easily recognizable to students and staff. Also, designated play areas and dog-friendly zones will be established across campus to accommodate the needs of the huskies and their human companions. 

“We recognize the significant role that pets play in promoting emotional well-being and reducing stress,” said the Director of Student Health and Counselling Services. “By integrating huskies into our campus community, we aim to create a supportive and inclusive environment where students can thrive academically and personally.” 

While the introduction of campus dogs may come as a surprise to some, the university assures stakeholders that extensive research and consultation have informed this decision. Studies have shown that interactions with animals can lower blood pressure, reduce feelings of anxiety, and increase overall feelings of happiness and well-being – benefits that align with UWT’s commitment to student success and holistic development. 

However, not everyone is wagging their tails in excitement over this initiative. Critics have raised concerns about the practicalities of having dogs roam freely on campus.  

“Sure, having dogs around might sound cute in theory, but who’s going to take care of all the dog poop?” remarked Professor Barkington, a skeptic of the program. “It’s not like they’re going to pick up after themselves, are they?” 

In response to such concerns, the university administration has devised a clever solution.  

“We understand the importance of maintaining a clean and hygienic campus environment,” stated Dr. McFluffy, head of the Campus Canine Committee. “That’s why we’re hiring a dedicated ‘Pooch Patrol Officer’ whose sole responsibility will be to scour the campus for any canine droppings.” 

Additionally, the university plans to implement rigorous obedience training for the campus dogs. 

 “Our furry friends will undergo intensive training to ensure they only go in designated areas,” explained Dr. Sniffles, lead trainer at the UWT School of Doggy Discipline.  

As preparations for the campus huskies are underway, anticipation and excitement are building among the UWT community. With their playful antics and unwavering loyalty, these furry companions are poised to become beloved fixtures on campus, enriching the lives of students and faculty alike. 

Huskies: The official campus wanderers. Photo by Raghvi Baloni.