Every semester, when midterms rear their ugly head, Paws Up Pet Therapy brings in a few of their fluffy friends to ensure students don’t go crazy.
The therapy dogs are brought in to help relieve stress. But additionally, the dogs’ presence always seems to brighten up students’ days. As word spreads, student traffic increases in the Harvin Center.
“You could walk in right now and everyone would be smiling,” said Sandra Heatherley of Paws Up. “It’s proven research that people who pet and handle dogs, their blood pressure goes down and their stress decreases. Any stress they have outside of that moment just diminishes.”
The therapy dogs not only give the students a little love, but they also get tons of attention from students and faculty who visit, making the experience a win-win.
“This is my first time out here, but she loves people,” said Tammy Fox about her therapy dog, Mia. “Everyone’s been very happy. Probably 80 percent of people who came in have seen her and said, ‘Oh I’m so happy.’”
Those who know about this event look forward to the days both on East and West Campus, but it also ends up being a pleasant surprise for people who have never heard of it.
“I was walking through the Harvin Center and saw a sign, so I came. It’s really cool, I love dogs and animals,” said student Gabriel Sanchez. “You get to take your mind off of things. After petting the dogs and getting love, now I’m ready.”