Posted: May 16, 2014, 2:00 p.m. EDT
By Clay Jackson
There’s nothing quite like the tongue-lolling stare and tail-wagging posterior of a dog, especially when the pressure’s on, as University of California, Los Angeles students discovered when PetSmart’s Inspiration Waggin’ Tour bus paid a visit on May 9.
The students got a much-needed study break when the bus released the hounds.
In total, 10 hounds (puppies, mostly), PetSmart
personnel and two cats spilled out of the Inspiration Waggin’ and onto the campus’ commons on the first leg of a six-city tour.
The four-legged ambassadors hadn’t come to UCLA to help raise money for animal causes nor as part of a mobile pet adoption but simply to encourage stressed-out students.
"The purpose of the Inspiration Waggin’ tour is to bring pet-inspired moments to people across the country,” said David Lenhardt, president and chief executive officer of the Phoenix-based pet retailer.
Students got a study break when the Inspiration Waggin’ paid UCLA a visit. It’s hard to tell who’s having more fun, the students or the dogs.
And it seemed to work.
One young woman, who had just taken a psychology exam, was glad the tail waggers were on hand to greet her.
"It didn’t go so well,” she said of her exam, "but I saw the dogs, and I feel so much better.”
The bus made one other same-day stop at a Los Angeles-area PetSmart.
After Los Angeles, the Inspiration Waggin’ made its way to Arizona to visit the Phoenix Children’s Hospital a May 12 rendezvous, got its dance card punched twice in Dallas at a local park and at Southwest Airlines corporate headquarters on May 14 and blew into Chicago for stops at the American Medical Association and Pioneer Court on May 16.
The tour finishes up in Toronto on May 20, with stops at SickKids, Commerce Court and a local PetSmart
, and in New York City at Herald Square on May 22.
"PetSmart is all about creating more moments for people to be inspired by pets with our unique products, services and experiences, and the Inspiration Waggin’ is a great example of our commitment to this mission,” Lenhardt concluded.
Pet enthusiasts can see all of the action at InspiredByPets.com/Tour-Tracker and are encouraged to share their own pet-inspired moments at #inspiredbypets on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
"This is a really unexpected and nice interruption,” said another UCLA student, as she looked up from her textbook and into the face of a puppy.
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