Mercyhurst Magazine Spring 2022

Taking an oudtoor study bear k withrPofessor Penny Hanes and her d,oLgucky, are, from left, Miguel Rivera, Aaron Smith,rFed Komb,eStephen Cannad,yand Myanna Smith. ‘Must Love Dogs’ people love their dogs so much. And, yes, there is one. In fact, there is an entire body of research on the subject. Accordin g to a study in the journa l Science , when human s and dogs look into each other’s eyes, both get a boost of oxytocin, which is the same feel-good hormone behind the special bond between new parents and their babies. In his latest book, “Dog is Love: Why and How Your Dog Loves You,” behavioral scientist Clive Wynne of Arizona State University cites research showin g tha t a single , simpl e trait – the capacit y to love – is wha t make s dogs such perfect companions for humans. We could cite more sources, but su f ce it to say, Mercyhurst loves its dogs. Whether it’s a visit to the Counseling Center to share a quiet moment with Bailey, the university’s therapy dog; or escaping the complexities of chemistry, thanks to classroom visits by Larry, Professor Clint Jones’ corgi; or walking across campus with Professor Penny Hanes and her beloved rescue dog, Lucky, dogs have a special place on the Hill. Only in academia would you search for a scienti f c reason to explain why If the occasional encounter with one of these familiar canines isn’t enough, the university also hosts Dog Days in the fall and spring, when Mercyhurst faculty and staff b ring their dogs to campus to interact with students and share a bit of puppy love. Oh, and by the way, in addition to having two actual service dogs living on campus, the university also is home to these emotional support animals: 14 dogs, seven cats, one rabbit, one gerbil, and one crested gecko.


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