Playful pooch coming to Murdoch Uni library

October 26, 2015

Rusty will bemeeting staff and students at the Murdoch University LibraryMurdoch University students will be able to soothe their stresses away with the help of a friendly dog who will be visiting the South Street Campus on Thursday, October 29.

Rusty, a gorgeous seven-year-old kelpie cross, will spend a few hours in the library from 12 noon with his owner Dr Teresa Collins, a senior lecturer in animal welfare and ethics from the School of Veterinary and Life Sciences.

Rusty and Dr Collins will move through different areas of the library, spending short periods of time in the communal areas including the foyer and Sir Walter’s Walk and students will have the opportunity to pet Rusty, talk to him or simply admire him from a distance.

Full details of Rusty’s whereabouts will be advertised to students and staff before his visit.

Susan Ashcroft, Murdoch’s Interim University Librarian, said they were hoping Rusty would spread some feel good vibes as students prepared for semester 2 exams.

“We hope Rusty will give our students a welcome boost as they study and meet with their friends,” she said.

“The library is one of the main meeting points at the South Street Campus and is always a hive of activity. Rusty will add a new dimension to students’ experiences in the library and we hope he will be a welcome addition during his visit. There are plenty of places to study and discuss your work with your friends here.

“We will be surveying students’ opinions on Rusty’s visit to the library and if we get positive feedback, we’ll invite him and other certified therapy dogs owned by Murdoch staff back to campus at a later date.

“We are also investigating the possibility of having our own Murdoch community dog who will make more regular visits to the library.”

Ms Ashcroft said they were inspired to investigate the possibility of bringing a dog into the library after learning about the successful dog therapy program at the Lillian Goldman Law Library at Yale University in the United States.

“There is evidence from the Yale program that visits from therapy dogs have resulted in increased happiness, calmness and overall emotional wellbeing,” she said.

“We hope to gain similar results at Murdoch and look forward to introducing Rusty and eventually the other dogs to our library community.”

Dr Collins said Rusty was originally a rescue dog and that she had trained him from a young age to be sociable and good with children.

“We’ve visited our local primary school many times and Rusty is fantastic with all the children,” she said. “He’s also very popular with the veterinary students that have had the chance to meet him. He has brought a great deal of love and happiness into our house and wider community and we can’t wait for him to meet more Murdoch students.

“He is certainly very robust and loves attention but he is also very loyal and obedient.”

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