Fostering Good Habits in College


From a canine point of view, maybe there is no better place to spend some time than on a college campus. Remember: the grassy expanses, the flying frisbees, the attentive people, and all the other opportunities dogs and students have to bond, grow, absorb knowledge, find their passion, or just lie in the shade.

It can just as easily be argued that there is nothing better for college campuses that fits their mission better than dogs. Dogs can pave the way to healthy social connections. They can help calm tense nerves during final exams. They can serve as friends when homesick. They tend to make an institutional setting a warmer, friendlier, and more family-like place. And on top of that, there are the volumes they can teach.

They don’t ask for a salary. They do not insist on a term of office. But with no degree or no pedigree, they can help us learn – maybe not Computer Science 101, but some pretty important things like compassion and responsibility.

Why then – in view of the advantages for everyone involved – have not more doors opened to dogs at American universities? Blame the usual suspects: allergies, barking, pooping, fear of trial, fear in general, and that rigid, safe-bet thinking that bureaucracies are famous for.

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