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Therapy dogs return to the Rec

Oct 31 • Features • 216

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The Recreation and Wellness Center (RWC) encourages you to take a mental break from your schoolwork and have a visit with our furry friends who are here every second Wednesday of the month.
The most recent Therapy Dogs session took place Wednesday and included multiple breeds of dogs, such as Labradors, a Great Dane and a cocker spaniel.
It would be “Good for U” to come out and play with the dogs and the volunteers from Therapy Dogs United, as “… it helps the students that have pets at home to feel a little less home sick,” said Sister Carol Ann McLaughlin, OSB.
Therapy dogs are a part of Good for U’s initiative to promote better emotional wellness as the ability to understand ourselves and express our emotions in an appropriate manner. What better way to express positive emotions than to surround yourself with dogs and others who enjoy them just as much as you?
Therapy dogs are here to help you relax, take a break from studying and see a happy and friendly face. Many of the students have had many positive responses to the dogs coming into the RWC.
One of those students who has had to adjust to living without a dog is freshman journalism communication major Olivia Hahner. She said that the therapy dog events at the Rec have helped ease her homesickness and the stress of her new workload.
“I grew up always being surrounded by dogs, and it’s weird not having one here now,” she said. “I love that Gannon does this kind of event.
“It really helps with stress and makes me feel at home.”
These furry friends are sponsored by Therapy Dogs United, an organization that works with many schools, homeless shelters, senior and nursing communities and even rehabilitation centers and many more.
Their outreach program is to help people with an animal bond that “… bring[s] the best out in everyone and to cuddle one means a lot to people” McLaughlin said.
The next time you can come in and hang out with our furry friends is Wednesday, Nov. 15 from 5 – 6 p.m. The RWC staff hopes to see you there.

AMY BENKOVICH
benkovic003@knights.gannon.edu

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