The Del Mar College Counseling Center hosted Go Team Therapy Dogs at all campuses in preparation for finals season.
The Go Team Therapy Dogs are a nonprofit organization whose mission is to have handler-dog teams offer relief, care and assistance to those in need.
The dogs visited all Del Mar campuses from Nov. 28-30, allowing all students to interact with the dogs and participate in the activities.
“The dogs help decrease anxiety, stress, relax your heart rate, which provides more of a relaxing atmosphere for the students,” said Go Team member Lisa Olmos.
Go Team also provided students with various activities to help with the stress of finals season.
“We offer a variety of activities to help the students destress, including coloring, puzzles, free anxiety screenings, and even a zero-gravity massage chair,” Olmos said.
Del Mar students Adrianna Rodriguez and Ariel Dimas said the dogs helped ease their anxiety before finals week.
“The dogs are so cute and loving, I could spend all day here with them,” Rodriguez said.
Go Team formed during the Waldo Canyon fire in Colorado Springs in 2012, which destroyed hundreds of homes and caused more than 32,000 people to evacuate. Two therapy dogs and their handlers helped provide comfort and a distraction from the disaster, which inspired founder Nancy Trepagnier to create the organization. Go Team has since spread worldwide, with teams in Italy, Germany, and Korea.
The Go Team staff is always looking for volunteers for both dogs and people.
Dogs must pass an AKC approved Canine Good Citizen test and be at least 1 year old prior to attending the class. Dogs are trained in real-life situations such as working in assisted living and nursing homes, library events, special community events, TSA airport security drills, elevator/stair drills, airport comfort and interacting with first responders.
For more information on volunteering to see if Go Team is visiting your area, contact 863-546-8326 or visit www.goteamdogs.org.