Statue in our Serenity Garden honors the human-animal bond

Serenity Garden sculpture

On November 6, 2008, the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine dedicated Connections, a bronze statue to honor those who come to the aid of animals. “The sculpture represents the basis of the veterinary profession and relation we all share with the animals in our lives,” said Dr. David Senior, [then] associate dean for advancement and strategic initiatives. 

Connections depicts a young girl offering water to a thirsty cat and dog representing both the relationship and responsibility we all share with domestic animals.  “This sculpture illustrates the importance of animals in our lives, which was seen time and time again after the hurricanes as people refused to evacuate without their pets,” said [then] Dean Peter F. Haynes. “In the 1950s the pet was consigned to the yard; by the 1960s the pet had been allowed in the house; by the 1970s the pet was allowed to sleep in the bedroom; now they may even be under the blankets. With companion animals owned by more than two-thirds of our family households…..today, our focus is on the human-animal bond and the importance of animals in the lives of so many people.”

This one-of-a-kind artwork, designed by Kentucky sculptor Meg White, is a central part of the Milton J. Womack Serenity Garden. Donated by the Womack family and dedicated in memory of the late Milton J. Womack, Sr., the Serenity Garden is located near the Small Animal Clinic entrance of the Veterinary Teaching Hospital.  Landscaped by LSU landscape architecture graduate students, it provides a peaceful spot for reflection. The Serenity Garden can also serve to honor special people and pets through the placement of an engraved pavement brick.   

Participating in the dedication ceremony were President Emeritus William Jenkins; Provost Astrid Merget; Dean Peter Haynes; Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Mike Strain; Ms. Margaret Womack; Mr. Terry Hill, president of Milton J. Womack Construction, Inc.; and Mr. Rick Lipscomb with WHLC Architects, the company that designed the Serenity Garden. “We are here to celebrate the unveiling and the dedication of a piece of art that represents what veterinary medicine and the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine as an institution stand for,” said Dr. Jenkins. “What sets veterinary medicine apart from other professions is that it is a caring profession. This sculpture is a symbolic representation of the profession and the School of Veterinary Medicine.”

After a brief program inside, everyone walked out to the Serenity Garden, where Womack, Hill, and Lipscomb each removed one of three drapes covering the three elements of the sculpture. Womack revealed the dog, which was based on her own dog, Pepper. Hill revealed the cat, and Lipscomb revealed the young girl. Said Dr. Senior, “This sculpture will serve as an iconic symbol of the School of Veterinary Medicine for years to come.”