Drayco, the three-legged dog who greeted visitors to Health and Wellness for six years, died on Monday, April 21, in his home with Jill Perry, the Health and Wellness director, and her daughter.
“It was hard for all of us,” Perry said. “But we just knew it was time.”
Perry brought Drayco to work on Monday so students could say good-bye. Melissa Santander, a Health and Wellness nurse, took Drayco for a walk through campus on Monday. She said students came up to see him.
Perry said Drayco loved to eat. If Health and Wellness staff weren’t careful, she said, Drayco would steal their lunches right out of their bags.
“If the closet door got left open, he would be walking around with a bag of peanut butter M&Ms,” said Santander.
Perry said that Drayco ran with her husband until he lost his leg. He would run 5-7 miles daily. She said he also loved to accompany her family on horseback rides, sometimes traveling over 20 miles.
“He lived a very adventurous life,” Perry said.
She said he was once bitten by a copperhead snake, and four years ago he overcame cancer.
Both Perry and Santander said that Drayco was always a happy dog. Santander said that when Drayco’s tail wagged in circles, she knew he was excited.Students visiting the Health and Wellness Center were sure to see Drayco in the waiting room, except on Tuesdays, which Perry said were his “days off.” Perry said Drayco loved going to work and students said they loved seeing him there.
“Something about him was just calming and sweet,” said Zenzele Barnes.
Paige Ernest said Drayco was a comforting presence in the waiting room when she was waiting for appointments. Perry said Drayco was never certified as a therapy dog, but he was always gentle and helped comfort students.
Perry said she felt like Drayco was not just her dog, but that he was shared by the campus. She said students would often ask if he lived on campus because they felt like he belonged here.
“He was like one of us,” said Santander. “He was a good friend. It was very nice of Jill to share him with all of us.”
Students can visit Health and Wellness to write memories they have of Drayco.