Notre Dame College’s own furry friend, Penny, celebrated her very first birthday with students and staff, on St. Patrick’s Day.
Jerry Hayes, the director of Counseling Center at the college (and Penny’s owner), conducted a celebration for the pup’s big day. With photo opportunities, food and even free goodies, the bash earned Penny some new friends among the Notre Dame community.
Hayes and Penny recently sat down to discuss not only the party but to provide some facts some may not know about the birthday girl.
Since the fall 2015 semester, Penny, a labradoodle breed, has been seen around the Notre Dame campus greeting people wherever she goes. By providing positivity and stress relief, she is an effective asset to many that walk by her way as well as those who seek assistance from the center.
“Penny has already been a great benefit to the campus community in that she provides a positive experience to virtually all who meet her and have contact with her,” said Hayes. “When she is walking around campus, students know her name and have no clue who I am!”
Penny can typically be seen on campus on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. When walking outside, she loves to interact with people and animals and always tries to chase the geese away when not leashed.
On her birthday, Penny received some presents, and she commented on her favorite surprise.
“I got a really cool stuffed green bone today,” said Penny, through her owner. “So of course, I had to open it up and take all the stuffing out.”
The birthday bash not only gave students and staff a chance for cuddles and up close and personal time with Penny, but it also provided them the chance to know more about her pedigree and ongoing education and what she’s really all about.
“Penny’s goal is to continue to bring a positive experience to our campus through interactions with students, faculty and staff,” said Hayes. “Ultimately, her presence has been only positive for all who meet her.”
Because Penny is at the eligible age, this summer she will be taking a “therapy dog” class to be officially certified.
“Now that I’m a year old, I think I should be allowed to chase geese!” Penny said via Hayes.