The Dogs of Wentz, Drake, and Laux Halls

Sam Stroozas, Staff Reporter

A staple of each Residence Hall on campus, the hall pet brings smiles to weary residents and visitors alike. The Racquet sat down with three of the most beloved pets that encapsulate the spirit of each Residence Hall. 

Klare Armstrong, Hall Director of Anna Wentz Hall, discussed her new best friend – Louie. Armstrong began with, “I like having a dog in the Residence Hall, because as I live in the place I work, having a dog is comforting to me. My job can be stressful at times and having a pet is a great stress reducer.” 

Armstrong’s claim of stress is valid in many cases. The CDC stated, “Dogs have positive impacts on nearly all life stages. They influence social, emotional, and cognitive development and promote an active lifestyle.” 

Louie does not only influence Armstrong’s life positively, but many of the students whom reside in Wentz: “I can’t tell you how many times Louie and I have been on a walk and a student asks to pet him, then they say, ‘I was having such a bad day, and Louie made it so much better.'” 

Although Armstrong is lucky to have companionship, many UW system colleges do not offer pets. Armstrong said, “Here at UWL we have a pet policy that allows Hall Directors to have a pet as live-in professionals. It’s a privilege to have a pet policy that allows Hall Directors to have a pet, because there are a lot of Residence Life departments across the nation at different institutions that do not allow live-in professionals to have pets.” 

 Drake Hall possess a friendly and welcoming dog – Oliver. Hall Director Megan Pierce explained, “Oliver really helps me with my work/life balance. It is easy to get consumed in all of the awesome things happening in the hall with Drake residents, but Oliver makes me put my work on pause to go on walks, throw the ball, or just cuddle.” 

 Dogs are known for making owners take a break in their busy days to relax and unwind outside with a game or two; always a good thing.  

Animal Planet claimed, “ owners exhibit decreased blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels — all of which can ultimately minimize their risk for having a heart attack down the road. For those who have already experienced a heart attack, research also indicates that patients with a dog or a cat tend to have better recovery rates. These benefits are thought to be connected with pets’ tendency to help reduce or at least control their owners’ overall stress levels.” 

 When Pierce and Oliver are not running outside they enjoy cuddling and watching Netflix. Pierce noted, “Oliver helps me not take life too seriously!” 

The winner of November 2017 Best Dog on Campus, also known by her common name, Gracie, resides in Laux Hall. Her owner Chris Farvour commented on what the perks of having a dog along for the ride of residence life are.  

 Farvour began with, “Selfishly, I love having a furry friend to live with and play with, but I also think that a dog brings a certain sense of “home” to a lot of our students (at least those that like dogs).  

“A lot of the Laux students love seeing her and petting her when she’s in the lobby saying hello before or after a walk, and it’s rewarding for me to see my students’ faces light up at the sight of her!” 

Gracie, along with many other dogs of UWL, brightens all who cross her path while leaving almost no one unnoticed.

Farvour added, “When she gets excited, her tail wags so much that the whole back half of her body wags in unison. If Gracie REALLY wants someone to come pet her, she will occasionally sit down where she’s at and wait for them to come say hello. Half a year later, it still cracks me up when she does this with strangers outside!” 

 Although Gracie loves to be around people, her best times are spent traveling with her human best friend. Farvour concluded with, “I love having Gracie because she’s a buddy that I can take all over the place! I leave the back seat of my car configured for travelling with her at all times because we go so many places together. I’m lucky that La Crosse is as dog-friendly as it is, because it’s a real treat being able to bring her with me places.” 

Between the many faces one sees around UWL in their four or more years, the joy of Louie, Oliver, and Gracie undoubtedly leave one of the biggest impacts.