Virginia Tech® home

University Libraries' exhibit honors the legacy of therapy dog Moose

Loading player for
Category: campus experience Video duration: University Libraries' exhibit honors the legacy of therapy dog Moose
Moose, the first full-time therapy dog at Virginia Tech, passed away on Dec. 2, 2020. Nearly two years later, Moose's legacy lives on as a new exhibit in the cafe area of Newman Library honors his life and many achievements.  
Well, this exhibit was just kinda something that fell together. We started our relationship with the library here a couple of years ago. And we just were brainstorming one day about what we wanted to do this coming year. And I said, well, you know, guys, I've got this massive collection of memorabilia from the therapy dogs and Moose in particular, our founding dog, and I have shelves of this stuff. I wonder if people would be interested in that. This was a great experience. To put together an exhibit like this is not something that we do terribly often in special collections. Usually they're much less elaborate. This one, there was just so much good material and I wanted to get as much of it on display as we could. Which meant we got to be a little creative at how to put things up. Moose passed in December of 2020. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer a week after his eighth birthday. And prostate cancer, unfortunately, is a terminal diagnosis in dogs. Moose was an animal that the whole community had a relationship with, the whole university, that represented things that were good, things that we're hopeful, that represented unconditional regard, that represented unconditional love. And so I think Moose is like a lot of beings, human or otherwise, that become famous or important, or we honor, and that they're more than themselves. They speak to us more than themselves. I think Moose really spoke to people and that's why we're honoring him. The VT Therapy Dogs program here that we have at Virginia Tech is really unique. And there's just a big legacy for Moose specifically in developing the therapy dogs program here, and Trent, of course, a huge part of that as well. But it's really grown into a vibrant program. There's the three active dogs, Josie, Derek, and Wagner now. The dogs are just beloved. Students enjoy interacting with them. And so honoring Moose and the legacy of the program that he piloted here, I think it was really important and it's part of the university experience.