Jake the Therapy Dog and his owner and trainer, retired Milligan College Biology Professor, Julie Wade have been visiting students in the Welshimer Library as a “de-stressing activity” during Finals Week every semester since Fall 2013. We were looking forward to planning for Jake’s visit again at the end of this semester when we learned earlier in the summer that Jake was retiring due to poor health. Library staff thought it would be neat to create a large Thank You card for Jake and invite students to write a message or sign.
The card was posted in the Library lobby during the week of September 12, with a great response from students. We contacted Dr. Wade and invited her to come by a pick up the card for Jake at the end of the week. Dr. Wade was very much moved by this out-pouring of appreciation from the students. What we didn’t know when we first proposed the idea was that Jake passed away in late July. So there was additional poignancy and emotion at our meeting. Jake will be very much missed.
Dr. Wade indicated that she intends to continue therapy dog training, which she views as a ministry. She just has to find the right companion. She assured us that she will stay in touch with us, and when the time is right she will return to the Library with a new friend to help students de-stress during Finals.