Monday, May 20, 2013

Hug a Dog Day

What happens when a bunch of college students are facing the pressure of the end of a school year and the stress of exams? Well, at Rensselaer Polytechnique Institute last week, they got the opportunity to relax with a very special group of therapy dogs.

 






































 My friend Sally is the organizer of certified therapy dog visits at universities including the State University of New York at Albany, Main campus and East Campus, Russell Sage, and RPI. She invited me to go along and help out at an event at RPI, held at Theta XI Fraternity.



About 16 dogs were available for hugs and cuddles. Students crowded in all day, and some stayed for hours. I was impressed by how the students made themselves comfortable on the grass and visited with the handlers, asked questions about the dogs, and talked about their own dogs they missed back home. Some of the dogs performed tricks for groups of students, who laughed and clapped.


















 

Other students enjoyed one-one-one time to hug and spend quiet time together.

























































 I was impressed with the students, their openness, kindness, and respect for the dogs. I enjoyed watching their smiles as they spotted that special dog they wanted to get to know--from little white dogs with bows



















to huge, furry, working dogs.






































I'm delighted that I got to see this program in practice. Therapy dog visits for college students is an excellent program, as anyone can tell after seeing all these happy students relaxing and smiling, all because of the unconditional love of some special dogs. Just check out the rest of these pictures of the students and dogs:

















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21 comments:

  1. Highly energetic blog, I loved that bit. Will there be
    a part 2?

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  2. Great post! Dogs do us all a world of good-whether we're stressing over exams or just daily life...

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  3. What a great idea! I know there are many days when the stress gets to me and hugging the dogs always helps. I'm sure these students appreciated the fur time.

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  4. Two French BulldogsMay 21, 2013 at 12:46 AM

    Sounds like a good day
    Benny & Lily

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  5. Looks like a good time to me! How awesome.

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  6. Thank you Peggy, I wish I could see the nine in the steps with me in it for my website, not for profit, Happy Hats & More, Inc.
    I am so happy I came with Goldilocks. She was thrilled with the kids and all the attention they gave her.
    Thanks so much for posting the photos!
    I am soooo

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  7. Thank you Peggy for posting these awesome photos. Bissell the Missile, (as she was named by the students) and I had a great time. She especially liked the burgers and hot dogs and the opportunity to remove them from the hands of unsuspecting students! :-) That's a hound for ya. I look forward to bringing her to more college campus events

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  8. I was happy to meet Goldilocks. Email me if you'd like a copy of any picture to use on your site!

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  9. She was great! I hope to keep up with you all, please keep in contact and let me know what Bissell is up to!

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  10. I like that...fur time!! Kelly has the softest, silkiest fur, I think I"ll go get some fur time now!

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  11. What a great idea. Dogs to the rescue once again.

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  12. snoopy@snoopysdogblogMay 22, 2013 at 10:16 AM

    Oh how cool!! Everyone looked like they were having SO much fun - I could even see the Golden Retriever smiling in one of those pictures!!


    This looked so similar to my visit last week, I hope this spreads to even more places and creates even more smiles! :)


    Wags to all


    Your pal Snoopy :)

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  13. What an awesome program. I've heard of it, but it was wonderful to experience it through your photos. I imagine the dogs were a real stress breaker for some folks.

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  20. That's great Peggy. I've always told my nieces that carrying Chooey and China (heck every freaking pack member) is therapeutic. So what we do is carry them (one at a time) and hug them to our chests. It's fun and relaxing.

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