Therapy dogs return to campus

Katherine Kromer, Contributing Writer

A group of therapy dogs eagerly played with students passing by the Bertrand Library on Sept. 24. These dogs were from the Susquehanna Trail Dog Training Club and all of the dogs were Alliance Therapy Certified. According to Susquehanna Trail Dog Training Club member and Athletics Office Coordinator Kelly Pastuszek, this is far from the first time the dogs have come to campus, but rather, they “have been coming to campus for at least 15 years or more.”

Pastuszek elaborated, saying they usually “come four times a year, once at the start of each semester and during finals,” but after their first visit on Aug. 27, “there was such high demand,” so they decided to return.

“I love when the therapy dogs come because they’re something to look forward to and it’s always a mutually positive experience for the students, dogs, and owners,” Erin Goldberg ’19 said.

The visit is part of the Counseling and Student Development Center’s larger mindfulness program called the “Mindfulness Menu,” which aims to promote healthy mindful practices among students. Some of the other programs on the Mindfulness Menu include meditation sessions and crafting opportunities. The hope is that these programs will encourage students to relieve stress in healthy outlets.

“It’s just really nice to have dogs around on campus when I’m stressed, especially if I’m missing my own pets back at home. College students are stressed and there is nothing like a [dog] to make that go away for a little while,” Lauren Ziolkowski ’20, a self-proclaimed “huge fan of the therapy dogs,” said.

The therapy dogs are scheduled to return to campus on Dec. 3, just in time for final exams.

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