The Collegian
Friday, March 01, 2024

Who let the dog out? A day in the life of Emmett, the well-being dog

<p>Emmett can be found relaxing in the center.</p>

Emmett can be found relaxing in the center.

The University of Richmond introduced many exciting new features to campus with the opening of the Well-Being Center this spring, including the Organic Krush cafe, relaxing study areas, aesthetic outdoor seating — and Emmett, the center’s adorable, two-year-old Goldendoodle. 

Emmett is a certified therapy dog who can be seen wagging his tail all over campus. His owner is Kathy Harvel, a health promotion registered nurse at UR, but he works at the Well-Being Center. Emmett is loyal, well-behaved, playful with other dogs and "a big, 90-pound teddy bear," said Kaitlin Jones, the health promotion assistant at the center.

Similar to many UR students, Emmett thrives by following a schedule and having a routine. Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, he arrives at the center front desk at 8:30 a.m. to start the day. 

At 10 a.m., he begins making his rounds to say hello to everyone in the building, followed by a 30-minute walk around campus with a student employee. Tired from interacting with his fans, Emmett returns to his cage at noon for a nap and a treat, the two best things in life.

At 1 p.m., he is escorted on his second walk of the day to burn off calories and frolic in the fresh air. At 3 p.m., a student employee brings him around the Weinstein Center for Recreation and surrounding areas until 4:30 p.m. Harvel picks him up behind the front desk by 5 p.m, Jones said. 

When he is not parading around campus with his good looks and happy demeanor, Emmett enjoys playing with his black lab sibling in his backyard, napping with his cat housemate and swimming in the summer (doggy paddle, of course). He also loves his treats — he eats special milk bones because he has a sensitive belly. One of his newly discovered hobbies is playing in the snow. 

Around two or three students who work as welcome desk assistants at the center spend time with Emmet daily, and they have high praise for their furry friend. 

“He is the sweetest, most gentle soul and will happily lay by your side and nap with you all day long,” student employee and sophomore Amber Crittenden said. 

With some UR students stressed and missing home, specifically their pets, Emmett can be their knight in shining fur. 

“Emmet is a great asset to the new Well-Being Center, providing students with a calming and comforting resource,” student employee and senior Josie Anderson said. 

Keep an eye out for the large pup around campus, stop into the center to check out his safe space and follow his Instagram, @emmettofurwellbeing, for live updates on his glamorous life! 

Contact lifestyle writer Julia Borger at

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