When Hurricane Irma threatened to hit her Statesboro, Georgia, apartment a couple of weeks ago, Jessica Lewis began making arrangements to evacuate — planning to wrap up her college classes and head west with her dog, Luna, in tow.
But with evacuation traffic and one additional class to attend, Lewis had a problem.
"I already had all my stuff packed and in my car," Lewis told TODAY. "But I was trying to figure out the quickest and easiest way to get Luna so that I could get on the road as soon as possible."
On a whim, Lewis sent an email to professor Joshua Kennedy, asking if she could bring Luna to class Sept. 7 so she could leave the area immediately afterward, and hopefully avoid some of the evacuation traffic.
"I realize the answer to this is probably a no, but I thought you might actually be a cool enough professor to say yes, and so I figured it was worth a shot," Lewis wrote in an email explaining her situation. "Can I bring my dog to class today?"
Kennedy's response brought a bit of levity to Lewis' hurricane preparations.
"Did you think calling me 'cool' would get me to say yes? Because it won't work," Kennedy responded. "What will work is that SHE'S OBVIOUSLY A GOOD GIRL SO OF COURSE YOU CAN BRING HER."
"I already thought he was a pretty good professor, but this made him the best one ever," said Lewis, who loaded Luna into the car and headed to her political science class.
Kennedy says Luna, a 1-year-old shelter dog Lewis and her roommate adopted in April, was a model student.
"She went up to most everyone trying to make friends, and every once in a while when I would pause after asking a question, she would whine as though she wanted to contribute," said Kennedy. "The other students seemed to enjoy her presence, as Luna got plenty of pats that day."
Kennedy, who is in his fourth year teaching at Georgia Southern University, is an animal lover, and has a soft spot when it comes to dogs.
"We were all pretty stressed — faculty, staff and students alike — wondering whether we'd need to evacuate the area, and making travel arrangements," said Kennedy. "I thought given the scenario that it would be fine to waive the rules in this instance and allow her to bring Luna...it helped provide some levity in what was a stressful situation."
After class, Lewis and Luna evacuated the area. They have since returned to their apartment, where there was no damage.
"Classes have been normal again since Monday, and everything is fine," said Lewis.