Who’s your hero? For Garner Watkins, it’s his dog Archie

From Issue 2

Graphic by Alex Roberson

Heroes don’t always wear capes or have superhuman powers.  A hero is a person admired for their courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.  Everyone has a role model that could be compared to a hero.  Heroes come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from lifesaving physicians to political leaders to parents.

Garner with his dog Archie. (Photo courtesy of Garner Watkins)

Some heroes are not humans but rather pets.  For junior Garner Watkins, his hero is his Goldendoodle, Archie.  Archie works as a therapy dog primarily at the University of Mississippi Medical Center but he also attends retirement homes and schools.  He brings comfort and smiles to people of all ages.  

Archie’s main purpose at hospitals is to lower stress and anxiety levels in doctors and patients.  In a report by the nonprofit organization committed to education of medicine, the Mayo Clinic, animal-assisted therapy has proven to “significantly reduce pain, anxiety, depression, and fatigue”.

A couple fun facts about Archie are that he has his own player card at UMMC and he is named after the football star Archie Manning.  

Garner concludes that Archie is his hero because “he’s always chill and it motivates me to be more like him.”