The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

How the Sue Strowig Memorial Bark Break came to be

Bark Break takes place on Campus Mall
Photo by Madison Moris
Many dogs frolicked in the Campus Mall during the event.

The latest Bark Break took place Friday, April 12 on the Campus Mall on Lower Campus. The recurring event involves UW-Eau Claire staff and faculty bringing their dogs to campus to help students to destress.

This gathering is not just a way to destress, but a memorial to UW-Eau Claire alum Sue Strowig. 

Strowig earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from the university in 1976 and went on to get her master’s degree in nursing from The University of Texas at Arlington. 

According to her obituary, Strowig spent over 40 years of her life as a clinical research nurse with a team to improve diabetic treatment. Her patients and colleagues in her research studies became her life-long friends. 

Strowig called Dallas, Texas home but always enjoyed her time in Wisconsin. She was very loyal to the Green Bay Packers and Wisconsin Badgers. 

She loved making Christmas cookies, jewelry for her family and eclectic gifts to her friends, who then had to guess their function according to her obituary. 

She was a talented musician who played the accordion and the flute in her high school band. Strowig appreciated the arts and loved ballroom dancing. She enjoyed taking lessons when she could and showing her moves to family. 

Strowig also was an avid sudoku, euchre and gin rummy player and she could rarely be defeated. 

Besides this, she loved her dogs, which she called her fur babies. Her dogs Ellie, Mollie, Hannah, Scruffy and Sammy were her pride and joy. She made them organic treats and ensured they ate the best diet possible, which included fresh meat, rice and vegetables. 

Strowig was planning to retire in Wisconsin while spending winters in Texas, but sadly passed away after complications from surgery in 2021 before she could return to the state. 

Despite her health challenges, including her cancer diagnosis in her early 20s which was treated successfully, her loved ones say she never wavered from her positive attitude. 

Jennifer McGeorge, executive assistant of the Enrollment Management Division, said that Strowig’s family wanted to memorialize her and her love of dogs. 

“[Her] family has donated money toward Bark Break in her memory,” McGeorge said. “Our first Bark Break was in Fall 2021 and has been successful ever since.” 

The event, which first started in 2021, has increasingly gained popularity since it started. Last semester, the first indoor Bark Break was held in the Kaalgard Towers and Suites Lobby. Based on the success of the event, more indoor Bark Breaks will likely be held in the future.

Friday’s Bark Break had a high attendance, from professors, their dogs and students. Labradoodles, cocker spaniels, corgis and various dog breeds were seen at the event. 

The next Bark Break will be held Friday, May 3 and McGeorge said students can register to win a scholarship for the fall 2024 semester. 

Moris can be reached at [email protected]

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