Public Safety Adds New K9 Friend

Ethan Bachand ‘22

Chief News Editor

On August 30th, the College of the Holy Cross Department of Public Safety announced that it would be adding Gracie the dog into its ranks. Rather than serving as a typical K9 unit, her purpose is to serve as a comfort dog for students.

A goldendoodle that is approximately five months old, Gracie was a welcome addition to the campus community at the beginning of the year. Initially introduced by Chief Shawn de Jong on September 1, Gracie has become a familiar sight on Mount St. James, making regular appearances throughout the campus.

In an official post on the Holy Cross Instagram account (@collegeoftheholycross), Chief de Jong was reported as saying: “In the end, Gracie will not just be a member of the family in the Department of Public Safety. She will be a member of the larger Holy Cross family. We’re looking forward to the new level of community outreach that we know will come when we walk Gracie across campus. When you see her, please stop and say hello!”

This is not the first time that Holy Cross has utilized comfort dogs for students. Such animals are staples during finals week, as therapy dogs are regularly brought in to help relieve stress during exam periods. However, this is the first resident comfort dog that Holy Cross has had.

On top of her physical appearances on the hill, Gracie has been pictured prominently on the Department of Public Safety Instagram account. Such pictures include her training or interacting with students on the Hoval.

One of the most popular images so far has been of Gracie leaving her mark on the beam of the wellness center. Before the final beam was lifted, Public Safety was able to place a paw print from Holy Cross’s favorite puppy alongside the signatures of students and faculty.

Sophomore Michaela Lake is amongst the many fans of Public Safety’s newest addition, saying: “I think it is a great idea for public safety to get a dog! I feel like it’s a cool and unique way to bring public safety and the campus community together. Gracie is such a cute and sweet dog. I hope to see her around campus more.”

It is still to be seen if the frequency of appearances will subside as the year continues, but for now Gracie is set to be the star of the show. 

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