Image courtesy of, Martin Cooper, CC-By-2.0, resized,

Pet Therapy

Welcome to a new series in Watercooler, Pet Therapy.

In the Learning and Teaching Centre, we are animal lovers and the majority us have pets.  Those who don’t, have honorary pets. By that I mean someone else’s pet who you consider yours or visiting wildlife that you consider a bond with.

Anyone who has come across one or more of my blog posts on Teche would know that I try to slip in reference to or a photo of my hairy child, Samuel, the shining light and joy of my life!  Oh! Perfect pic opportunity.  Here’s a family portrait on a road trip back in April:

Ritchie-Russell family protrait

I could honestly regale you for days on end about how much Samuel means to me, how he has made an incredible impact on my life, values and mental health since my partner and I adopted him at 11 months old.  I could also share a million photos of him, each one as important to look at as the rest but I will leave that to his (longtime untended – Samuel claims to have had writers block for a few years now, I don’t believe him though) blog and Instagram page.  I will say that when I walk in the door of an evening and that face only a mother could love is lit up, bum waggling, all my worries and woes melt away.

So Pet Therapy isn’t just about celebrating my Samuel, it’s about celebrating the joy of pets (and perhaps an ulterior motive to be able to bring your pet to work – the research is there to prove the benefits; and to set up a doggy day care on campus).  I will be featuring the pets of my colleagues but I also want you to share your pet/s, how they improve your life, any story you want to tell, with the Teche community!  You can either write your own post or email me at  Photos are a must, videos are also encouraged!

Sneaking in one last Samuel opp.  How’s that face?
Samuel on the couch








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