Imagine this: you wake up a couple minutes before your alarm rings at your favorite uphill dorm (Houston? Miller? Hillside Apartments? Let your mind fill in the blanks…) on a nice Saturday morning. After hastily checking the weather app (72°F with minimal humidity), you decide to take a stroll around and then eventually head to Dewick Dining to eat brunch. Traversing past the academic quad, you say hi to friends and peers you recognize from classes, clubs, and other weekly events you’ve previously enjoyed. As you head down the Presidents Lawn (you call it Prez Lawn though, because you know the Tufts shorthand at this point) you are stopped by an unexpected sight…
Now, you’re reading this and are probably thinking, “Say what now?”
You heard it! One aspect of Tufts that the student population unanimously adores is the wildlife. Beyond the flora and the Pinterest-esque fall foliage lies the fauna: the countless animals that inhabit the bushes, trees, nooks, and crannies around campus from squirrels to skunks to raccoons (one named Vlad showed up quite often during the 2021-22 academic year) to bunnies. Although not on the loose, dogs make up an unofficial weekly tradition that centers on community-building dubbed “Dogs on Prez Lawn.”
From 10 am onwards on Saturdays, Prez Lawn becomes a dog park as residents from the neighboring Medford and Somerville communities bring their furry companions to socialize and play with other pets. After a little while, it’s common to see students, children, and adults laughing at the antics of the dogs chasing each other, rolling around, and munching on delectable treats.
Believe it or not, Dogs on Prez Lawn has made such a huge impact on the Jumbo community that there is an Instagram page (@dogs_on_prezlawn) dedicated to document the growing kennel of dogs that frequent the Lawn!
Regardless of whether you have nothing else to do on a Saturday morning, want to make new floofy friends, or just need a boost after a rough, stressful week of work and midterms, I highly recommend checking this event out. In fact, my favorites are Waffle (Samoyed), Oreo (Siberian Husky), and Macho (Bulldog).
Fun fact: Tufts’ animal fascination doesn’t stop at Dogs on Prez Lawn! A longstanding example is Animal Aid, a community service group that pairs volunteer undergraduate students with dogs in the nearby Medford/Somerville area to walk on a weekly basis.
If you’re a dog person, then be sure to mark Saturday in your calendar as your lucky day of the week. I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t be the one looking forward to seeing the dogs again and again and again!