Coming back to college, starting classe and keeping track of assignments can be a very stressful time for students. Lindsay Johnson, a licensed professional counselor at Rowan University, along with Allie Pearce, the assistant director in the Wellness Center, run the monthly event Paws for a Break.
For the months of October, November and December they will be running a trial, collaborating with Residential Learning and University Housing and the Residential Hall Association to have this event twice a month on a Monday and a Tuesday.
Paws for a Break is an event where students can come pet and play with therapy dogs and even some dogs in professional training. Doing this has proven to have many health benefits in helping students de-stress and relax in the moment, as well as lower blood pressure, without having to worry about what is going on in the outside world.
Pat Hayes and her husband had two dogs at this event this past Monday. One of their pups, Easton, was a young lab in training to be a seeing eye dog. Their other dog, Denton, was also a seeing eye dog at one point but after had a “career change,” which allowed him to come back to Pat and her husband.
Kathy Porch, the owner of a German Shepherd therapy dog named Beau, says that she enjoys participating in events such as this because she likes,
“…getting to know the kids and seeing them enjoy petting him,” Porch said.
Porch and Beau also travel to the schools in Mantua to work with special needs children as well as students who have been and are working through being bullied.
Elyssa Lowe, a sophomore art major, attended the event.
“I’ve been stressed lately so this has been helping me calm down,” Lowe said.
Nathan Benson, a junior theater major, mentioned the change he goes through coming back to campus and having to leave his dogs at home.
“I don’t get the same exposure as being at home, so it’s nice to have some dogs in my life,” Benson said.
More Paws for a Break events will continue throughout the months through November.
For comments/questions about this story, email firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @TheWhitOnline.