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Puppies on the Plaza bring “pawsitivty” to campus

On+Thursday%2C+March+28%2C+SAC+partnered+with+former+community+service+director+Marci+Bahr+to+bring+her+puppies+to+campus.+
Eshna Das
On Thursday, March 28, SAC partnered with former community service director Marci Bahr to bring her puppies to campus.

When senior Virginia Carolyn Crawford walked into her biology class ten minutes late, her teacher asked why she was tardy. When Crawford replied that she had been hanging out with the puppies on the Plaza and lost track of time, her teacher excused her immediately.

Crawford had just finished choir practice when she noticed students gathered in clusters by the UniTree. Like many other students, she rushed over to see several little labs on the lawn. 

On Thursday, March 28, SAC partnered with former community service director Marci Bahr to bring her puppies to campus. Bahr, who breeds dogs, reached out to SAC sponsor Alice Fogler a week and a half prior asking if Fogler was interested in doing an event with them.

“I had a few SAC members in my class, so I posed the idea to them, and they all agreed,” Fogler said.

From there, Fogler and Bahr worked together to coordinate a convenient time to bring the puppies to campus.

The event attracted so many students that freshman Melody Han had to wait in line for a chance to hold one of the puppies. This differed from her previous experience when larger therapy dogs, which more people could pet at once, were brought to campus. Nevertheless, she found the event therapeutic.

“I realized how effective interacting with animals is at reducing stress,” Han said.

Freshman Anji Holm, who heard about the event through a SAC representative on GroupMe, found the dogs helpful in decompressing after a busy week.

“There was something about having the puppies there that made us all slow down,” Holm said. “We were all focused on how cute the puppies were and nothing else.”

Crawford recalls being surrounded by smiles everywhere she looked. She watched students obsess over a puppy that had fallen asleep under the UniTree, laughed as another dog “took a chomp” out of her friend’s ponytail and even received a slobbery kiss as she posed with a puppy for a photo.

Although Crawford says she is past the most stressful point of her high school career, she acknowledges how the puppies lightened the mood for the student body.

“Juniors are dealing with the beginning of college stuff, sophomores are writing their research papers right now and I’m sure the freshmen are stressed too,” Crawford said. “It was nice for everybody to have something on campus to distract them a little bit.”

As a community service officer, Crawford had the opportunity to work with Bahr before her departure from St. John’s and got the opportunity to reconnect with her on Thursday. 

“Everybody appreciates her for being such a positive presence and staying connected to St. John’s even though she’s retired,” Crawford said.

According to Fogler, bringing puppies to campus turned out to be a huge success.

“If the opportunity presented itself, I think SAC would be very open to having events like this in the future,” Fogler said.

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About the Contributors
Yutia Li, Staff Writer
Yutia Li ('27) joined The Review in 2023 as a freshman. She likes to chug coconut water and enjoys diving head-first into softball bases.
Eshna Das, Online Section Editor
Eshna Das ('26) joined The Review in 2022 as a freshman.  She loves the color purple and has both a pet dog and a pet cat (no, they don't get along).

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  • M

    Marci BahrMar 31, 2024 at 10:34 PM

    We loved bringing our puppies to SJS! It was so great to see the puppies bring smiles to students’ faces…and I loved seeing so many former students and faculty members! I don’t know who loved it more but I will say that the puppies had a WONDERFUL time!

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