Tucker the therapy dog dies

Sawyer Loftus, Senior Staff Writer

With heavy hearts, the UVM community fondly looked back on a campus icon and began grieving following the death of Tucker the therapy dog.

Tucker passed away of natural causes at the age of 11, said Tucker’s owner Jeff Rettew, associate director of the Wellness Environment. Tucker started working with Rettew at UVM in 2013 as a registered therapy dog when Rettew was the assistant director of Living Well, he said.

Tucker almost instantly gained a following as soon as he started working on campus.

When Rettew transitioned into his position as associate director of WE, Tucker came with him, but continued to serve the campus through classroom visits, admitted student days and more.

Students reacted to the news of Tucker’s passing on social media with posts honoring Tucker in the popular “Make UV Groovy Again” and “Catamount Crushes” Facebook pages. The post announcing Tucker’s passing on Instagram received over 80 comments of support.

“Tucker brightened the days of so many people at UVM! He will be sorely missed,” Alissa Johnson, a UVM alumni commented on Instagram.

“Rest easy Tucker! We will forever miss and love you! Thank you for making all of our ASCs a loving and memorable time for our students, families, faculty and staff,” the UVM admissions account commented on the post.

UVM Bored posted a message to its Instagram expressing sadness over Tucker’s passing.

“Thanks for the golden smiles, calming pats, and soothing presence in our high stress college lives,” the post stated. “You may have been a dog, but you were definitely one cool cat.”

Rettew said that Tucker was an important member of the UVM community, whose presence will be missed.

“He was a beloved member of the UVM family and will be deeply missed,” Rettew said.

Rettew is working with the University to figure out a way for the UVM community to celebrate Tucker’s life and memory when students arrive back on campus, he said.