Comfort Dog’s New Role at Merrimack and New Name Celebrated at Meet and Greet Event

Merrimack community members had the chance to meet Merri, the College's new black Labrador comfort dog, and celebrate her new name at a March 3 event in her honor.

More than 2,000 members of the Merrimack community cast their votes and selected Merri as the winning name for the Police Department’s new comfort dog.

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The name Merri was the runaway winner, followed by the name Daisy. Other names included Abby, Annie, Emma, Gracie and Lucy.

When her training is complete, Merri will be a full-time comfort dog working alongside her patrol partner, officer Chuck Anderson. Merri’s role is to comfort members of the College community in stressful times and also promote community engagement. 

President Christopher E. Hopey emceed a party in the Sakowich Campus Center’s MPR to announce the puppy’s name with cake, balloons, music and tennis balls March 3.

“Over the next several weeks, you will see officer Anderson and Merri working on obedience, patience and meeting new friends on campus,” he said. “They will be around for a lot of activities and events.”

Sarah Hogue ’20, a business administration major from Leominster, Massachusetts was among the dozens of students who showed up to pet Merri and learn her name.

“I think it’s a really exciting thing for the campus,” she said. “It’s really going to brighten up the campus and bring everybody together. She’s super cute.”

Mark Bissonette ’22, a double major in business and criminal justice from Easton, Massachusetts has a chocolate Lab of his own. He voted for the name Daisy but also likes the name Merri.

“I did the survey online and figured I’d stop by and improve my day and happiness,” he said. 

Comfort dogs undergo rigorous training, said Laura Barker of Hero Pups. Only about 50 percent of dogs complete their training.

Learn More about Merri

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