Paws 4 Stress helps students decompress

The Corner Lounge in the Student Commons had a line of people almost out the main doors on Jan. 23 waiting to pet some dogs. The Paws 4 Stress event at the college has always generated huge interest. It’s a free-access event for students and employees to come and hang out with therapy dogs. Amanda […]
Photo: Sophie Daly
Daisy, a St. John's Ambulance therapy dog, enjoying all the pets from students.

The Corner Lounge in the Student Commons had a line of people almost out the main doors on Jan. 23 waiting to pet some dogs.

The Paws 4 Stress event at the college has always generated huge interest. It’s a free-access event for students and employees to come and hang out with therapy dogs.

Amanda Logan, the events programmer for the Students’ Association, was helping organize the event.

“This is the first time the SA has partnered with the Volunteer Centre for Paws 4 Stress,” Logan said.

The Volunteer Centre and Students’ Association worked with St. John’s Ambulance therapy dogs to run the event.

“The event has been going on for a few years now, and it’s always been very popular. Students really do get the therapeutic needs and comfort through the dogs,” Logan said.

“This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, so we thought it was the perfect time to bring it into a little bit of a bigger space, bring out a few more dogs, and really give students that access to the therapy dogs,” Logan said.

With the Volunteer Centre and SA working together, they went with a larger space at the college to accommodate more dogs. There were five dogs available to students and staff.

Students at Paws 4 Stress event
Students at the Paws 4 Stress event. Photo credit: Sophie Daly

The oldest dog at the event was Shadow, a 13-year-old golden retriever owned by Larry King.

“He’s on his second career now, didn’t make it as a guide dog so now he’s a therapy dog,” Kind said.

Daisy, a 10-year-old Great Pyrenees, was accompanied by her owner Martin Davidson. Davison has had Daisy for nine years.

Rachel Meltotto, a business management and development student, and Chata Ben Galeb, a project management student, were enjoying their visit to the Corner Lounge. They were giving lots of love to the gentle giant Daisy.

“I found out about this from a school email,” Meltotto said. “I love animals, I just have a cat, but I love dogs as well,”.

Andrea Denyer is the owner of Lily, a 12-year-old mini Bernedoodle.

“She’s on the older side for a dog, she’s a senior now. She’s been a therapy dog since 2018, so five or six years now,” Denyer said about Lily.

Nichapat Phondee, 24, a marketing management student, soaked in all the love the volunteer therapy dogs had to give at this year’s Paws 4 Stress event.

“I’m actually a cat person, but I really miss my cat. I’m an international student so I wanted to see some pets,” said Phondee, who is from Vietnam, “I heard about the event from the Algonquin College’s Instagram story.”

The Paws 4 Stress is an annual event, but the Students’ Association has more events planned for their Mental Health Awareness Week.

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