“They Just Look Like Little Potatoes and I Just Want to Touch Them:” Students Cuddle Corgis at Stress Relief Event

Nearly 100 students came to the Fireside Lounge to play with corgis during the "Corgis Day" event to relieve stress on June 6. (Andy Bao/The Independent)

By Ainslie Cromar – Life Editor

Students sat in the Fireside Lounge on June 6 as Gimli and Pippin parted the crowd like they were on a red carpet. Almost everyone took their phones out for photos and social media posts while the two corgis yipped and twirled on four small, furry legs.

The stars of the show attracted about 100 eager students crowding the corners of the room, forming a line curling out the door and waiting around the staircase near the Office of Student Life.

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Jeni Gregory, 15, right, pets four-month-old corgi Gimli during the “Corgis Day” event at Clark College on June 6. The event was put on by Clark’s Activities Programming Board to help relieve stress from upcoming finals. (Andy Bao/The Independent)

The event, organized by Activities Programming Board Awareness Events Coordinator Meizhi Teoh, lasted from 24 p.m. Teoh said the event was intended to help relieve stress, though fewer corgis were present than she expected.

The group that provided the corgis, Portland Corgi Meetup Group, consists of volunteers who only attend events as their daily schedules allow. Meetup Group members Jesse Maygra and Elizabeth Durrin are Gimli’s owners and said this was the puppy’s first event with people instead of other dogs.

Durrin said she named the dog after the redheaded Dwarf in “The Lord of the Rings.”

Gimli trotted toward Pippin, the older of the two dogs, and playfully tugged on his ear before rolling over and leaping into Abbie Utley’s lap.

“This is how the movie should’ve gone,” Utley said.

Utley, a Portland State University student, said she loves corgis so much that when she missed PSUs corgi day last year, she knew she had to come to Clark’s. She said they make her happy because they’re like a “pocket-sized German shepherd.”

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Clark students Elli McElhose, left, and Kira Capley play with 4-month-old corgi Gimli during the “Corgis Day” event at Clark College on June 6. The event was put on by Clark’s Activities Programming Board to help relieve stress from upcoming finals. (Andy Bao/The Independent)

Clark physical education instructor Steve Da Massa is Pippin’s owner. Da Massa said Pippin loves the dog park, but usually comes back coated in slobber from bigger dogs.

Pippin rolled around the student circle and landed on student Mariana Vasquez’s shoes.

“They just look like little potatoes and I just want to touch them,” Vasquez said. She said she’s been worried about her archaeology final, which she will take online from out of town.But when Pippin spun onto his back in front of her and licked her hands, she burst into a smile.

Vasquez said she was thankful for some peace of mind and “de-stress time” in the midst of approaching finals.

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