The Man and His Jack Russell Terriers

Every morning I emerge from the fourth floor of Stephen Epler, groggy from almost sleeping through my alarm, hungry and hopelessly awaiting dozens of collegial topics to hit me in the face. I take the stairs to the lobby and join the school of fish I call Portland State.

Through rain or shine, I stomp my way past ‘The Meetro’ only to pass a short span of open green grass. Dozens of college kids alike take this path down to the Park Blocks, and it wasn’t till recently that I noticed that almost every morning a friendly man walks his two jack russel terriers around this small grassy area. Every day I see one terrier, ripe with energy, chasing a bright green tennis ball across the little field. The second terrier, calm and polite, patiently wags his tail next to his owner. The little brown spots on each of their faces reveal two incredibly handsome dogs with two different personalities.

Day after day, the college hustle and bustle passes the man and his dogs, only to walk away a bit cheerier than what they were originally.

One day I decided to finally talk to this man and thank him for bringing his lovely dogs to the park. They never cease to leave a smile on my face, and I didn’t realize until recently how much it brightened my mornings.


After talking with him, I finally learned one of the true purposes to his consistent early dog walking. It is not only his love for his animals (though we both agreed that animals are a special gift given to humans), but to strike a smile on people’s faces in the morning. He sees the anxious, stressed, and worried college kids each day and brings his playful dogs to the park to change their mood. Who would have guessed that this man purposely walks his dogs near campus, simply to make a stranger’s morning?

Simple acts of kindness truly make my day, and I deeply appreciate how PSU has made it possible to meet people like this.