College-age readers and their parents may be aware of the latest trend in relieving the stress of final exams: Sleep-deprived students taking time out to play, pet, and generally relax with visiting dogs on campus. Gina B. Finn, Director of Admission and Financial Aid at Foxcroft School, heard about this canine study-break therapy, and figured it would benefit girls at the independent secondary school in Middleburg, Virginia, too - so she contacted Middleburg Hunt (VA).
Joint Master Jeff Blue was delighted to report that conveniently, Middleburg had a litter of five-month-old American foxhound puppies in kennels. Enter Pilgrim, Pickle, Problem, Piper, Patty and Peaches.
Professional whipper-in Libby Gilbert and Julie Robards accompanied the sextet of affectionate young hounds to campus, and dozens of Foxcroft students came out of their dorm rooms and library cubicles to romp, hug, and simply de-stress with the obliging pups. The visit was a terrific opportunity for all members of the community - even non-riders - to interact with friendly foxhounds.
Founded in 1914, Foxcroft is a college-preparatory boarding and day school for about 166 girls in grades 9-12. The school and Middleburg Hunt have had a close relationship for decades, dating back to when Charlotte Haxall Noland, Foxcroft's founder, was Joint Master from 1932-46. The hunt meets on campus for a stirrup cup and breakfast at the Head of School’s home every year on homecoming weekend, and students, and the school's riding instructors, follow the Middleburg hounds regularly. The hunt has also offered an internship to a Foxcroft student during the school’s “Wintermission” term for the past several years.
For more information about Foxcroft School, please click here.