Leaving a door open for dogs, Mary Oliver brings joy to a classroom

Harry Potter, a Corgi with The Bright and Beautiful Therapy Dog group, heading in to provide stress relief to law students.

Harry Potter, a Corgi with The Bright and Beautiful Therapy Dog group, waits to meet students and staff at Chapman University Law School for some stress relief during finals week. Read about it here: http://tdn.com/lifestyles/therapy-dogs-ease-stress-for-students/article_6be3863a-cbdb-11e2-a4c5-0019bb2963f4.html

The Poetry Teacher
by Mary Oliver

The university gave me a new, elegant
classroom to teach in. Only one thing,
they said. You can’t bring your dog.
It’s in my contract, I said. (I had
made sure of that.)

We bargained and I moved to an old
classroom in an old building. Propped
the door open. Kept a bowl of water
in the room. I could hear Ben among
other voices barking, howling in the
distance. Then they would all arrive—
Ben, his pals, maybe an unknown dog
or two, all of them thirsty and happy.
They drank, they flung themselves down
among the students. The students loved
it. They all wrote thirsty, happy poems.

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