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One of a Kind: Former MSUM teacher brings joy to students with 'campus collies'

Editor's Note: This is an installment for One of a Kind, a regular video series that looks at interesting people throughout the Red River Valley. Read more "One of a Kind" stories here. If you know of someone who would make for a great story, email Austin Howard at ahoward@forumcomm.com.

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Beverly Wesley with her dogs Titan (Left) and Jackson (Right). Photo by Austin Howard.

MOORHEAD -- Beverly Wesley lives right across the street from Minnesota State University Moorhead, just the right distance to walk her two collies through the campus on almost a daily basis. She and her collies have gained many new friends at MSUM and have been named the 'campus collies'.

"They're loved on campus, and I know that because these two are called the 'campus collies.' Everybody loves them and wants to pet them and play with them," said Wesley.

Wesley taught at MSUM for 25 years along with her husband, Walter, but both retired early when he began showing signs of early onset Alzheimer's disease. The two traveled and raised collies until he passed. Her late husband is what sparked her love for the breed.

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"When I met Walter he had a collie so after that we always had collies," Wesley said.

The two dogs she has now are a 9-year-old collie, Jackson, and a 12-year-old collie, Titan. Both are trained to walk without a leash and never leave Wesley's side. The two dogs bring the support to her as she believes MSUM brought to her.

"About the first two quarters or so, I really felt at home there. I think I had been looking for a place to fit in for a long time, but that was it," she said.

"They just fostered me the whole time. All the way through undergraduate then I went on to grad, then got that done and came back and as a teacher they did too. They've just been a supportive institution the whole time."

The support she showed to students throughout her time teaching, she is now continuing by bringing her dogs around campus.

"A lot of students know them, a lot of faculty know them, and they enjoy having them around. The kids treat them as therapy dogs, they say, 'I got a test the next hour, can I pet him please?' and I say 'sure!'"

Walking her dogs around the campus brings back something she missed and adored while she taught at MSUM.

"I love the students. I've always loved the students," Wesley said. "And that's the only part I missed when I retired, was being able to be with students and this gives me the opportunity to be with students.

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"I love it and then I go to games, I go to soccer games and softball games. It's a community that I'm a part of, I'm accepted into and I love being there."

Wesley continues to be in her student's lives whether on or off campus.

"I'm actually Facebook friends with a lot of former students, even from the very first year I taught," she said. "So there's something warm and it makes you feel good to know that you contributed to their lives in some small way."

Related Topics: PETS
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