We’ve missed feeling welcome at Babson College since the pandemic has closed the campus to outside visitors, but when we heard the business school had added a puppy to the community, we invited ourselves over. When a five-month old English cream golden retriever gets added to the family, well-wishers will come a-calling.
The pup’s name is Roger, and the Student Government Association, in response to students’ requests, provided the funding to bring him to campus. Now that he’s there, Roger is being raised up to serve as certified community resource dog. It’s hard work that keeps him busy four mornings a week learning important skills such as sit, stay, come, and heel as Roger internalizes his recall training lessons.
Babson Police Officer Kevin Carrigan is Roger’s partner in service to the community. The two not only work together, they also clock out together. In his off-hours, Roger enjoys family life with Officer Carrigan and his wife. But what if Carrigan moves on to a job outside of Babson? These things happen. “I’m not leaving,” Carrigan shrugged.
To meet Roger, I didn’t exactly storm the gates of entrepreneurial school. Roger, Carrigan and I rendezvoused outside the Forest Street entrance for our photo-op. The calm pup never once strained at his leash or, when briefly unleashed to show off his skills, even so much as glanced at the busy street as something that maybe he’d run off to explore. Roger is all about the human friends, and he takes his job seriously. Since everyone Roger meets is someone who might need an emotional boost, Roger let me know with eye contact and a wagging tail that he was there for me.
I fell hard for that sweet face. Roger has had that effect on the campus community as well. During his strolls on campus and while attending events, Carrigan says students approach the two all the time just to experience the joy of petting a puppy. Every positive interaction Roger has as a youngster helps him along his career path as a community resource dog. As Roger’s training progresses, he will be used on campus to respond to emotional, mental, and physical health emergencies and serve as a calming influencer. Already he’s brought students to tears.
“I’ve had students cry when they meet him because he makes them think of their dogs at home, or they say that the stress of dealing with school durning COVID is sometimes hard,” Carrigan said.
Although Roger hasn’t yet come across Babson’s mascot, Biz E. Beaver, Roger confided to me that he looks forward to meeting his colleague. He said he’d like to help Biz E out with the anxiety issues that have led to his compulsive gnawing problem. Maybe give Biz E some strategies to take the stress level down a notch.
Babson being Babson, there is a business component to Roger’s arrival on campus. The alumni association is going forward with plans to sell Roger stuffed toys at the bookstore. Proceeds will go toward Roger’s care.
“He had a few adjustment bumps at first,” Carrigan says, “But he settled in pretty fast. Now he’s just a part of Babson.”
Mark C Lavelle says
Pauline Hoegler says
Great job Kevin and Roger. I love seeing this.