This College Professor Let A Dog Into His Class For A Seriously 'Pawesome' Reason

"I thought it would bring a little levity to a stressful situation and that it was the right thing to do ... "

Many professors have heard the ole "dog ate my homework" story, but Dr. Joshua Kennedy of Georgia Southern University recently got to hear the far superior "Can I bring my dog to class?" story.


One of his political science students, Jessica Lewis, posed this simple, but nonetheless surprising, question in an email. She went on to explain that because Kennedy's class was her last of the day, she would "have to leave as soon as [his] class gets out to try to get home to Atlanta as soon as possible," all the while "trying [her] hardest to beat this storm traffic" to pick her dog, Luna, up at her apartment before then getting back on the road herself. 

In the wake of Hurricane Irma, many have evacuated Florida and other parts of Georgia to the metro Atlanta area, which Lewis also planned to do, according to Kennedy. "Georgia Southern is a regional university and most of our students come from in-state, and a great many of those from the Atlanta metro area," he told A Plus via email. "So it was a popular destination for those leaving south Georgia." 

While that excuse was much better than claiming her dog had eaten her homework, Lewis had carefully prepared her argument, aided by several pictures of Luna to "convince [Kennedy] with her cuteness." 

Kennedy's response was one every professor could learn from. "Did you think calling me 'cool would get me to say yes? Because it won't work," he replied. "What will work is that SHE'S OBVIOUSLY A GOOD GIRL SO OF COURSE YOU CAN BRING HER." 

Who could argue with such solid academic logic as that? Certainly not the other students who welcomed their new classmate with tons of head rubs and lap sits. "She was hilarious, very active and interested in meeting and making friends with everyone in the class," Kennedy said. "Occasionally, when I would ask questions and there was a pause in the conversation she would whine like she was trying to contribute. Luna is a very sweet dog."  

After Love What Matters Facebook page shared Lewis' story, it has since received more than 27,000 likes. Many have commended Kennedy for going above and beyond his normal teacher duties but, for him, it was a no-brainer. "Unexpected situations like this can cause a lot of stress for faculty, staff, and students. I know I, and a number of my colleagues, were worried about the hurricane's effects, especially after experiencing Matthew last year," he said. "I thought it would bring a little levity to a stressful situation and that it was the right thing to do to accommodate a student who wanted to attend class but wanted to get away right after with her dog." 

He even credits Luna, whom he considers nothing less than a "heckin' good doggo," with "defus[ing] a lot of that tension" he and his students experienced as they adapted to the natural disaster. As it turns out, dogs aren't just man's best friend — they might be their best teaching assistant, too. 


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