Auburn, Alabama —
Research studies prove that dogs reduce stress, calm nerves and generally make people happier. But on the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine campus, you only have ask students, and they will sing the praises of Digby, who due to his popularity, is becoming a media star.
Three years ago, Digby and his owner, Dr. Edward E. Morrison, head of the Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Pharmacology and professor of veterinary histology and neuroscience, started making the rounds of classrooms each Friday, calming the nerves of first and second-year students during what are intense years.
Digby has become so popular on campus, that he’s become a mascot of sorts, as most all students know and love the golden retriever. So much so that Digby is debuting in a new media venture for the college – being featured in a film of a dog’s perspective of a visit to the Wilford and Kate Bailey Small Animal Teaching Hospital.
The brainchild of Dr. Morrison, he broached the idea to videographer Silas Zee, who works the college’s Informational and Instruction Technology unit. The duo got the idea to strap a camera to Digby’s head to get a pet’s view of a visit to the veterinarian.
The first installment of Pet’s-Eye Tour, or P.E.T., features ‘A Day with Digby’ at the Auburn University Veterinary Clinic, where he undergoes a checkup like most pets have on a yearly basis. Click here to view the video.
Future segments are planned to feature service areas of the teaching hospital.
Dr. Morrison said while he thought the idea was fun and captured a unique concept, the video will help pet owners new to the Bailey Small Animal Teaching Hospital be oriented and show what their beloved pet will experience and the cutting-edge medical care they will receive.
“You’ll see what he sees and experience Auburn Veterinary Medicine like never before,” Dr. Morrison added.
Digby’s familiarity and friendliness make him the perfect mammal to show off the new Wilford and Kate Bailey Small Animal Teaching Hospital.
“Obviously we love Digby,” said Elizabeth Whitsett, fourth-year veterinary student. “He’s a huge stress relief.”
“I brought him into the classroom one week when he was just a puppy, and then I did it again the next week,” Dr. Morrison said. “Once you do something twice it’s a habit.”
Digby has become a staple, joining Dr. Morrison in Greene Hall every Friday spreading smiles to students, faculty and staff. Morrison said it was quickly apparent Digby could handle the rigors of being 120 students’ best friend.
“Even when he was two-weeks old it was obvious he was a keeper,” Dr. Morrison added.
# # #