Luna flopped on her side, breathing quietly. Her fluffy white coat puffed up like a balloon and relaxed down, slow and steady as her indoor personality.
Matthew Beck, her owner and the hall director of Bergwall Hall, said that Luna’s outdoor personality is a complete 180.
Trained alongside service animals, Luna is in her element at Bergwall and loves all of the human interaction she gets, not only with Beck’s wife and kids, but with student residents of Bergwall. Her training also comes in handy outside where she heels on walks, but she is full of energy when it’s time to play.
“Where Luna is tempted to break her training is when she finds other dogs,” Beck said. “That’s Luna’s greatest challenge — she loves to play with other puppies, other animals. She gets very excited about that.”
Luna has even tried to befriend the resident Taylor cats, whose home base is close to Bergwall. Besides the loneliness of quarantine for such a friendly dog, the main challenge that Luna’s family faces is living without a fenced-in backyard for her to run around in. Nevertheless, Beck still thinks Bergwall is the perfect environment for her.
Luna is a very calm and gentle dog, and her hypoallergenic fur makes her ideal for people with allergies. Beck says he’s always careful when he lets her in the lobby because he knows not all students want a dog around. Many students, though, look forward to seeing Luna after a long day of classes because she makes them feel more at home. There are even a few students that Luna recognizes.
Beck believes that Luna’s presence on campus is more beneficial than any potential property damage she could do, especially because she is so well-trained.
“It’s an incredible benefit that Taylor offers hall directors to have a pet, and it has only increased our (family’s) well-being living here on campus, but also it has had the overflow effect of benefiting the well-being of the residents,” Beck said.
Breuninger-Gerig Hall director Peter Yeung was the first to take advantage of Taylor’s dog policy, which was updated to allow hall directors a dog in February of 2019. His bernedoodle, Malcolm, lives in his apartment in the building.
“Luna and Malcolm are both very friendly puppies,” Yeung said. “He is a really energetic and playful dog and he knows no stranger. He always wants to be friends with everyone and everything.”
Because Malcolm is less than aware of personal space, Yeung does not bring him into the lobby at Breuninger or Gerig except for very limited special occasions. Malcolm still gets plenty of social interaction as Yeung hosts staff meetings with the Personnel Assistants (PAs) at his apartment. He calls Malcolm’s presence at meetings “a blessing and a distraction.”
Yeung used to host “Furry Fridays” at his apartment for an hour every week. He noted that third Breu residents were avid attendees. Though he no longer organizes the meetings, many students still come to his door or message him, asking to take Malcolm on a walk or even just play for a while.
Yeung loves when students ask to play with Malcolm because it gives him another opportunity to make further connections with the students he oversees. Keeping Malcolm on campus, however, is not always easy when it comes to tasks like time constraints and training.
“There are moments where I’m trying to train Malcolm to not jump on people and people would be like, ‘Oh, it’s totally fine!’ and I’m like ‘Well, no, it’s actually not,’” Yeung said.
Both Yeung and Beck see their dogs as assets to the students they oversee, especially those missing their own pets at home.
So, if you’re ever itching to take a puppy for a walk, be sure to contact Peter Yeung or Matthew Beck, who will surely hook you up.