Beau helps students through ruff times


Andres Fuentes

Beau relaxes while students study in the honors office on the first floor of Monroe Library. Although he used to suffer from anxiety, Beau now acts as an emotional support dog for Loyola students. Photo credit: Andres Fuentes

Henry Bean

Between moving away from home and learning to tackle exams, college can be a stressful time, but Loyola students have access a four-legged friend to help them survive.

Beau is a purebred golden retriever who is specially trained to help people with PTSD and extreme anxiety. He came to Loyola because of his owner, Laura Freirichs, vice president of marketing and communications, and he is now a fixture in the community. Beau is so popular within the Loyola community that he even has is own social media accounts and Loyola ID.

“When I came to work at Loyola, the opportunity existed to have him spend his days at school to help our students whenever they needed a little TLC due to test anxiety, homesickness, or if they were just needing some unconditional love,” Freirichs said.

Beau is no stranger to anxiety either. When he was a young puppy he suffered from extreme separation anxiety so much so that he would rip apart a couch if he was left alone for more than 20 minutes, according to Freirichs.

Nowadays, Beau is much more relaxed. He spends most of his time in the honors area on the first floor of the Monroe Library lounging and chewing on Mardi Gras throws.

Frerichs said that two of Beau’s favorite things are “eating soft serve ice cream and being with Loyola students.”

Contrary to popular belief, students cannot “check out” Beau, but they can spend time with him in the library, feed him treats and take him for walks until 3 p.m on weekdays.

Gab Greene, criminology and psychology sophomore, said that having Beau on campus has made her feel more at home.

“It’s just a really nice presence to have an animal,” Greene said. “It’s the one thing that you have to depend on. It’s never going to be mad at you. They’re never going to not show you love. It’s just very comforting to have that one thing you know you can always expect love from.”