Remington, a 2-year-old Golden Retriever, is Carolina’s first athletics training room assistance dog.
Remington’s official title is psychiatric medical alert facility rehabilitation service dog. He works with Terri Jo Rucinski, coordinator of the physical therapy clinic and staff athletic trainer for the team, to help players who are recovering from injuries.
Rucinski has worked with the team for 12 years and says the atmosphere this year is different with Remington around. Student athletes who underwent surgeries in the fall turned the corner emotionally really quickly, Rucinski says.
“I’d like to think he had something to do with it,” she says.
For the team, Remington has been a source of comfort. For fans, he’s been a source of joy. Remington stands with the team and holds his hat or a glove during the National Anthem, carries water to umpires and offers up fist bumps and high fives to players.
“This is the first time I’ve ever had a dog or any sort of assistance dog helping out with any team I’ve been a part of,” says junior and outfielder Brian Miller. “It’s like a bond that I have with any of my teammates really."
Let’s hope every team follows UNC’s lead, because there really isn’t a better way to lift the morale and spirits of a team than a very good clubhouse dog.
(UNC Baseball - March 25, 2017)