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Law dog takes faculty duties to the Max

For the past three years, Max, a 5-year-old golden retriever, has been a full-time member of the Dean’s office team within the Faculty of Law. As a puppy, he started out casually dropping in on Fridays with his human, systems administrator Corey Meingarten. The team loved him – soon enough, Max became an office staple.

Today, he is the faculty’s Canine Ambassador, who is, according to his online profile page on the faculty website, “responsible for morale development and the consumption of leftovers… greeting visitors at the front counter, watching for courier deliveries and welcoming guests.”

“I started bringing him because it was awesome for me, and my co-workers really liked it,” said Meingarten. “He was around during exams and we were finding when students came in really stressed, it was really comforting to them to have him around. And he’s just been part of the office ever since.”

Office culture has changed with Max around, Meingarten explained, noting everyone is more relaxed. He provides an outlet for students, staff and visitors to be friendly and casual, regardless of who they might be and how they might be expected to behave.

“We’ll have top Justices come through, and they will be all dressed up, and you’ll see them get down on their knees and pet a dog – which is not what you’d expect,” he said.

Meingarten said students have requested visits with Max, and he has had to drop him off in study rooms and pick him up at a later time. While Max has no formal training, he is basically helping students as a de-stress tool – like the therapy dogs that sometimes visit campus.

“Our student services staff can’t give someone a hug but he can,” Meingarten said.

This article appeared in the Western Law 2017 Alumni Magazine.
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