By: Anna Raaijmakers
On Oct. 24, two dogs and their owners came to Neill-Wycik for the Therapy Dogs event. The poster was unclear about who the therapy was for (dogs or humans), but I assume the dogs felt very revitalized after this evening. The cafeteria was heaven on earth for Toto the cocker spaniel as the floor was filled with food crumbs. This led to some attention span issues for him, but he looked very happy. Luckily Toto’s owner, who was volunteering with St. John Ambulance Therapy Dogs, was very patient and after awhile he managed to cuddle with everyone that was sitting in the circle around him.
Cookie (the white one) is a rescue dog and her side of the cafeteria didn’t have as many food crumbs lying around so she could focus on getting cuddled by all her admirers. The ratio of dog to human may have been a bit overwhelming for the dogs, but it must have been a good concentration exercise for them. It must have been hard for Cookie to decide who gave the best massages so she had everyone cuddle her several times, just to make sure.
Both owners and dogs are volunteers who visit a variety of locations to offer their hugs and services. Some places they visit are hospitals, senior centres, universities and schools. The program promises stress relief and comfort, and I have to say that I forgot about all my midterms for a while. All in all, I’d definitely recommend petting some dogs as a break from studying. It’s a great stress reliever and it doesn’t take as much time as binge-watching Netflix. I hope these pictures also have some stress relieving qualities for those who missed the therapy dogs.