Monday, 4 November 2013

De-stress with a Few Furry Friends

Walking into SUB on a few weeks ago turned into a surprising treat as friendly furry animals came to pay the campus community a visit. Dogs of all kind patiently waited to be petted as excited students rushed to play with them. The event, which has been organized and promoted by the Office of the Dean of Students and the Students' Union, looks to help students de-stress during exam season. The dogs are members of the volunteer group Chimo Animal Assisted Therapy and they will be back at the U of A on Wednesday (Nov. 6)! Hopefully their last visit (which we'll be revisiting below) will serve as an excellent example of what we should expect later this week.

First year Engineering students Benjamin Nguyen and Jordan Nesselbeck play with Edward as owner Carina Ludgate looks on.  Both Benjamin and Jordan were preparing themselves for three upcoming midterms, including one on a Saturday.

Helen Kuzmiki plays with her dog Tignish who is a Corgi/German Shepherd mix. Tignish works with occupational therapists and senior centres. Both Helen and Tignish had a good time with the students in SUB.

U of A alumni Asyah Saif – Business (2013) plays with Mitzie. Asyah is the Assistant Manager of the InfoLink: Your Campus Connection, and while she spends most of her day helping students find the resources they need to succeed, she was excited to see furry friends like Mitzie help uplifting student spirits. Owners Fran and Norm Davey (not pictured) enjoy volunteering for events like these and had a really good time too.

From the right: Engineering students Kianna Peterson, Mia Au and third year environmental economics students Zhaochao Lin and Meng Yang have fun petting Portuguese water dog Lucy. Both Kianna and Mia were gearing up to write their first five midterms in a row. All four students wanted to see more events like puppy therapy on campus.

Taking a break – Lucy and owner Heather share a bonding moment. This was Lucy’s first puppy therapy event and she did a fantastic job! Heather was very proud of Lucy on her first day out. 

BA Drama Honors student Amy Couch feels that puppy therapy is a great idea and would love to see more of it in the future. Her own furry friend is back home in Calgary.

4th year BA English/Linguistics student Hailee Barber looks on, as two year old German Shepherd Samson listens to his owners. 

Newfoundland dog Presley had a good time at the event. According to owner Sandra Kutschinski Newfoundland dogs are one of the quietest breeds in general which makes them very good for stress relief sessions. (Picture on the right) – Presley proudly displays a YouAlberta button on his collar.


About the Author

When I am not busy with engineering school, I love painting in abstracts. I am also a huge movie buff and will watch anything with zombies in it.

I would like to share stories that are personal and reflective of the great community we have built here at the U of A. My experience at the university so far has brought forward a tremendous amount of personal growth, and I can’t wait to help share the wonderful stories and student experiences of this amazing university.


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