By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Who could say no to that face?
Student post about pup's day in class goes viral
W jess and luna
Jessica Lewis and Luna both smile for the camera. It took the pair more than six hours to get from Statesboro to their home in Villa Rica after they chose to leave town prior to Hurricane Irma.

               Cleopatra was an Egyptian queen known for her beauty and her ability to make an entrance.
        A local four-legged namesake is also a beauty - and she's made quite the splash as well.
        Luna, a dog who was previously named Cleopatra, was in the Douglas County Shelter, looking for a good home when she spotted 19-year-old Jessica Lewis. She walked right up, sat down, and held up her paw, saying, "Hi. I'm adorable. Adopt me."
        So that's exactly what Lewis and her roommate did. But Luna's story hadn't even begun to blossom.
        In the days leading up to Hurricane Irma, people in the area were tense, to say the least. Lewis, a double-major in Political Science and Arabic at Georgia Southern University, was preparing to evacuate to get ahead of the storm. Classes were being canceled, but Lewis didn't want to miss her last class of the day, Introduction to Political Science. She was prepared to leave town, but there was one small complication - Luna.
        "I had my car packed and ready to go, and I was just trying to figure out the easiest and quickest way to get her so we could beat traffic. Obvi-ously, I knew it was going to be horrible, no matter what, but the quicker I could get out, the better off I'd be," Lewis said.
        So she tried something a bit unorthodox. She e-mailed her professor, Dr. Joshua Kennedy, explaining the situation.
        "It was completely on a whim," Lewis said.
        She wrote, "Can I bring my dog to class today? It would help me out SO much..." She even tried a bit of flattery, writing "I thought you might be a cool enough professor to say yes."
        She promised that Luna would be good and only the "teensiest bit disruptive." And to cap it all off, she included photos of the dog, to convince Kennedy "with (Luna's) cuteness."
        But it would seem that Kennedy wasn't buying it.
        "Did you think calling me ‘cool' would get me to say yes? Because it won't work. What will work is that SHE'S OBVIOUSLY A GOOD GIRL SO OF COURSE YOU CAN BRING HER," he replied.
        Kennedy said, "A lot of us, the faculty and staff, were trying to figure out what we were going to do, whether to evacuate. So it was a little bit stressful." He had planned on e-mailing his students to let them know that attendance wouldn't be taken that day, in case they needed to leave. He was in the midst of that when he received Lewis' e-mail.
        Calling himself "very much a dog person," Kennedy said the pictures did it.
        "The dog was adorable looking," he said, laughing.
        Lewis said she didn't think her professor would agree to her request, let alone even respond to her email.
        "But he e-mailed me back in less than a minute, literally, and I like, screamed and ran outside to show my roommate, because I was like, this is crazy. This kind of thing just doesn't happen," Lewis said, adding that she promptly had a chat with Luna.
        "I sat there and told her she was going to be a college student and she was super excited and ready to go," Lewis said, smiling.
        Kennedy said his students were intrigued by Luna's presence in the classroom, and they all enjoyed her visit.
        "She was a funny dog. She wanted to go around and kind of meet everyone, and so she made a lot of friends that day," he said. "They all seemed to enjoy it. I thought it was good because it lightened the tension around the hurricane."
        Luna even whined a bit when Kennedy asked questions, as if she wanted to answer him, which the professor said they all found funny.
        Lewis Snapchatted Luna's adventures in class, to the delight of her classmates and friends, and she later posted on Facebook and Twitter, knowing her family and friends would enjoy it as well. She had no idea it would go viral.
        "The next morning there were more than 5,000 shares on Facebook and about 1,000 on Twitter," she said. By Monday, her inbox was filled with requests for interviews from media.
        "It was crazy. I just never expected that it would go this big," she said.
        The story has been picked up by Mashable, Southern Living, Yahoo News, Diply, The Dodo, The Tab and Bored Panda - just to name a few. It's been all over the web, shared on sites throughout the U.S. and abroad. Both Lewis and Kennedy have been interviewed by reporters from various news organizations and websites.
        Neither can believe the attention it's gotten.
        Kennedy says it's surreal.
        "I began having people approach me on Friday night (the week of the storm), then strangers started e-mailing me, and I heard from people I haven't heard from in years," he said. "More than anything it's strange. It's been funny, to say the least."
        One thing that's come out of the whole situation is that Lewis thinks she may have found Luna's breed. They originally thought she might be a Weimaraner/lab mix. But there were lots of folks who saw her photo and told Lewis that she looks like she might be a Blue Lacy.
        "I had never heard of that, so I googled it. It's the state dog of Texas and kind of a big deal over there. So we think we might have accidentally gotten a pure-bred dog," she said, laughing.
        Luna hasn't let fame go to her head. She's still just a sweet little pup, who's working on her leash skills, and sneaks the occasional treat. And she's just happy she picked the right humans.

Sign up for the Herald's free e-newsletter