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Self-Care Fair and Pet-a-Pet Day

by Brianna Jackson, 2016

A Smithie getting a kiss and warm greetings from a fuzzy friend.

When her coworkers approached her for ideas for her retirement celebration, Hayat Abuza, Multifaith Program Specialist, shrugged off any suggestion for a party just for her. She wanted to celebrate her time at Smith with a festival everyone could enjoy; the Self-Care Fair held at Helen Hills Hills Chapel on May 2, 2014 was the result. The highlight of the Fair was Pet-a-Pet Day, a cherished day for Smithies to enjoy the company of some amazing pets.

One of the things students miss most from home when at Smith is the pets they had to leave behind. Interacting with pets at this celebration provides them with the loving presence they have been missing out on. Everyone at Pet-a-Pet Day was so happy to see furry friends once again. Emily Carroll ’16 stroked a chocolate labradoodle and was reminded of her dog of the same breed at home.

At this year’s Pet-a-Pet Day, Smith and Northampton community members brought a sizable array of pets. Dogs great and small waited for affection from Smithies. A cat and a guinea pig also made an appearance, delighting those who were not dog-lovers.

Hayat gave out inspirational quotes to the pet-lovers as they milled about. A Duke Ellington quote, “I merely took the energy it takes to pout and wrote some blues,” was handed to me, and I appreciated its message of channeling negative energy to create something beautiful. As finals week approached, the quotes gave students the fuel to power through their schoolwork into the solace of summer.

Guests were refreshed by the delightful snacks supplied by the Center for Religious and Spiritual Life. Puppy Chow, a timeless sweet snack, was served alongside the likes of crisp veggies, apple cider, and cider donuts.

Other events at the Fair included massages, a labyrinth in the Chapel, outdoor yoga, and guided meditation with Mia the Wonder Dog.

The Self-Care Fair was an immense success. We are so thankful for Hayat Abuza for the spirit she has given to Smith and wish her the best in her retirement.