Pets for People Therapy Dogs Featured at Purdue Convocations Pre-show Event

Friday, March 1, 2019

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Ducky received belly rubs at the pre-show event for Purdue Convocations
SAVMA Purdue President-elect Matt Schiffman, of the DVM Class of 2021, with his dog, Ducky, a former canine educator who has been certified as a therapy dog through Pet Partners.
A little girl pets Teddy the Pomeranian
A young person who attended the “Call of the Wild” performance with her mom enjoyed petting Teddy, a 12-year-old Pomeranian belonging to Pets for People Club President Stephanie Morgenstern, of the DVM Class of 2020.

Purdue Veterinary Medicine’s Pets for People Club teamed-up with Purdue Convocations Sunday afternoon, February 24, for a special pre-show event featuring therapy dogs in the lobby adjacent to Stewart Center’s Loeb Playhouse.  The dogs were there to interact with people arriving for a dramatic stage presentation that brought to life Jack London’s classic tale “Call of the Wild.”  The thrilling story of courage and survival penned by the famous author was presented in Loeb Playhouse at 3:00 p.m., as a multimedia adventure that included storytelling and projected images.  An hour prior to the performance, attendees joined Purdue Convocations and the Pets for People Club in the Stewart Center lobby to learn more about the novel and to meet trained therapy dogs.

Frankie the dog receives a treat from Julianna in Stewart Center
Julianna DiMichele, of the DVM Class of 2021, gives a treat to Frankie, who was adopted from the Canine Educator program and has been certified through Pet Partners as a therapy pet.

With the help of a grant from the Business Office for Student Organizations (BOSO) as well as support from Purina, the Pets for People Club brings in the organization Pet Partners (formerly the Delta Society) once per year to certify club members’ pets as trained therapy animals. Throughout the year, the certified therapy pets and their owners make visits to community schools, senior care facilities, and other organizations to share the therapeutic benefits of the human-animal bond.  The club’s faculty advisors are Dr. Alan Beck, director of the Center for the Human-Animal Bond and Dorothy N. McAllister Professor of Animal Ecology in the Department of Comparative Pathobiology, and Dr. Niwako Ogata, associate professor of animal behavior in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences.  Third-year veterinary student Stephanie Morgenstern serves as the club president.

The presence of the therapy dogs at the pre-show event was fitting, given the star of Jack London’s well-known novel.  In the book, Buck — the offspring of a St. Bernard and a Scottish Collie — is kidnapped and put to work as a sled dog in Canada’s Klondike Gold Rush of the 1800s. As the call of his ancestors courses through his blood, Buck discovers his own endurance and strength to become the most famous dog in the northland’s history.

Writer(s): Susan Xioufaridou and Kevin Doerr |

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