Students celebrate, support National Puppy Day

Cooper enjoys the sunshine and warm weather on Fountain Mall Thursday afternoon. Jessica Hubble | Multimedia Editor

By Thomas Moran | Staff Writer

March 23rd is National Puppy Day, and with finals just around the corner, puppy adoption might be the best relief for the inevitable stress testing brings.

The annual holiday was created by Animal Planet in 2006 and, according to the website, National Puppy day is not only dedicated to the celebration of puppies and the joy they bring to the lives of their owners, but also to raising awareness for animal cruelty toward puppies.

“It’s a day to help save orphaned puppies across the globe and educate the public about the horrors of puppy mills,” the site said.

Though it is called National Puppy Day, the site said the holiday has since become an international holiday since 2012 when it gained attention and traction on Twitter.

Denver, Colo., junior Caroline Landry and her roommate decided to start fostering dogs this school year and have already cared for seven dogs. However, one special dog found himself a permanent home with Landry.

“We have fostered seven during our time at Baylor,” Landry said. “I ended up falling in love with one of them that we fostered and I adopted him … His name is Wesley.”

The benefits of adoption reach beyond the animals that find homes. Steven Felman with the Anxiety and Depression Association of America said owners of puppies can experience many significant benefits.

“Specifically, pets and therapy animals can help alleviate stress, anxiety, depression, and feelings of loneliness and social isolation,” Feldman said. “Interactions with animals can help people manage their long-term mental health.”

Telluride, Colo., Marygrace Greene adopted a pug about a year ago and noticed these benefits almost immediately.

“There is nothing better than coming home to a little being that wants nothing more than to give you slobbery kisses and love,” Greene said. “Having Winston around is what makes school bearable. Sometimes he is such a handful, but he just makes me so happy.”

Greene takes Winston on daily walks and has earned the title “The Girl with the Pug” from her neighbors who also benefit from Winston.

“He is just such a chunky monkey,” Greene said. “When we are on walks, people will always come up and show him love. I love that he makes them happy, too.”

Landry has also noticed that having a puppy makes her more efficient and responsible with her time.

“It helps keep you accountable with my schedule because I know when I have to be home because there is an animal relying on me,” Landry said. “So, it keeps me on track and I don’t waste as much time.”

Whether you are a dog-owner or not, the National Puppy Day website offers 50 ways to celebrate the holiday and show support for the cause. Donating play toys, writing to congressman about banning puppy mills and volunteering at shelters can be just as helpful as adopting or fostering.