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USC 'Hires' Full-Time Wellness Dog to Help Students Destress

September 21, 2016

Getting a job in academe can be dog-eat-dog. But for Professor Beauregard Tirebiter, it was just dog-be-dog. The black goldendoodle has been hired by the University of Southern California as the institution's first-ever full-time facility dog, according to USC News. (Note: Earlier versions of the USC News story and this story reported that the animal was academe's first full-time facility dog. Both posts have since been updated to reflect that he is one of several.) Facility dogs are similar to therapy dogs, but they work with changing groups of people rather than one person who needs assistance. Beau, as he’s nicknamed, works out of USC’s Engemann Student Health Center. His official title is wellness dog, and he has office hours, business cards and a Twitter account.

Students are invited to drop by to pet Beau throughout the day to relieve stress and anxiety. USC also hopes Beau will help students seek additional health services they might otherwise feel uncomfortable accessing. Beau is funded by the Trojan League of Los Angeles, an alumni group that is interested in student wellness.

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Colleen Flaherty

Colleen Flaherty, Reporter, covers faculty issues for Inside Higher Ed. Prior to joining the publication in 2012, Colleen was military editor at the Killeen Daily Herald, outside Fort Hood, Texas. Before that, she covered government and land use issues for the Greenwich Time and Hersam Acorn Newspapers in her home state of Connecticut. After graduating from McGill University in Montreal in 2005 with a degree in English literature, Colleen taught English and English as a second language in public schools in the Bronx, N.Y. She earned her M.S.Ed. from City University of New York Lehman College in 2008 as part of the New York City Teaching Fellows program. 

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