As the school year begins and new stresses enter the lives of ample students, a friendly aid offers a helping hand—or in this case, a helping paw.
Wrigley is the Elmhurst College therapy dog, and his owner, Pat Ferraro, is an Executive Secretary at EC.
“Wrigley is therapy for everybody,” said Ferraro. “He’s supposed to just make you smile.”
Wrigley is a great addition to the EC family, and students can see him in Founder’s Lounge on Fridays every month.
He is an eight-year-old golden retriever who is a native of Elmhurst and is named after the famous baseball stadium in Chicago.
“He reminds me of my dog at home,” mentioned Jessica Goodreid, an EC freshman from Denver, Colorado.
After completing the Canine Good Citizen program and his certification for dog therapy through the Alliance of Therapy Dogs, Wrigley is a proud graduate and is able to roam the campus and interact with students.
Numerous students surround Wrigley and are eager to spend time with their furry, campus friend when he stops by Founder’s Lounge. Wrigley loves when students pet him, and if you give him a treat, he will gladly perform a trick.
“I may hate dogs,” said Olivia Morrison, “But I’m soft for Wrigley.”
Wrigley is truly a friend for all.
He goes to grammar schools, Special Ed classrooms, nursing homes, and many other places to spread joy, and he truly loves his job.
When Ferraro asks him if he wants to go to work, he gets excited and starts wagging his tail, eager to put on his uniform—a blue therapy dog scarf—and meet new people.
A dog's empathy goes a long way.
“I think students sometimes get stressed, especially with the beginning of a school year and leaving home,” said Ferraro while scratching Wrigley behind the ear. “This brings them some kind of comfort, and they can think to themselves, ‘I miss my dog at home, but I got to pet a dog today.’”
Wrigley is beloved to EC students.
“I want to see him every day,” said Aasiyah Wasif. “I think it is a really good idea to have a therapy dog because some people find the human-animal bond to be more comforting.”