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An Interview with Merri, Merrimack College’s Comfort Dog


Official Bark Translator 

Merri, a young black lab, joined our campus in the spring of 2020 as a comfort dog. Merri came to Merrimack from Hero Pups, a nonprofit organization that trains shelter puppies to be service and support dogs. She primarily works with the Merrimack Police Department, and according to the college, she “aids in stress reduction, promotes community engagement and offers comfort in difficult times.”

Given that we’re all living through a global pandemic, her role is particularly important for bringing both comfort and joy to our campus.

The Beacon: How are you adjusting to your new role at Merrimack?

Merri: Bark Bark, Bark, Bark, Bark! {Translation: It’s great! Merrimack students are the best!}

The Beacon: What is your favorite thing to do on campus?

Merri: Woof! WOOF WOOF! {Translation: Get pets from students. Lots and lots of pets!}

The Beacon: What advice would you give to students to help them de-stress? 

Merri: Woof Woof, Bark Bark, Woof! {Translation: It can be hard to remember to eat well and exercise when you’re stressed, but these things really help reduce feelings of stress! Fun activities can help, too. Try doing spooky yoga or going apple picking with a friend. Petting me also helps reduce stress!}

The Beacon: If you were allowed to eat human food…where would you eat on campus? 

Merri: Woof! Woof! Woof! {Translation: The McQuade Cafe and Pizzeria…that bacon pizza smells delicious!}

The Beacon: What advice would you give students for staying connected and finding community while social distancing?

Merri: Bork Bork. Bark Woof Bark. Bark Bark! {Translation: Join a club on campus! I’m a big fan of reading The Beacon and listening to WMCK radio. I also recommend checking out The Weekender to see what’s happening on campus. We should really call it physical distancing instead of social distancing because it’s important to be social. There’s still a lot of stuff going on, and you can participate safely while wearing a mask.}

The Beacon: What do you think about students who don’t wear masks?

Merri: Grrrrrrrrrrr! Ruff, Ruff, Ruff! {Translation: Everyone needs to wear masks. Everyone has to do their part to keep our campus community safe. If dogs had to wear masks, I would wear one, too. Warriors keep Warriors safe!}