These are the chronicles of two Shetland Sheepdogs and their adventures in rally-o, obedience, flyball, agility, tracking and therapy dog work.
Also including information on raw feeding, canine epilepsy, positive training, and lots and lots of Sheltie hair!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Dog Therapy for Students

A lot of people think that therapy dogs just visit hospitals and nursing homes. But there is a lot more to it than that.

Tonight, Gio and I and another therapy dog team from the city went to visit a group of students on campus. The local university has a couple of off-campus student residences, full of individual students living in group dorms and adult foreign students with their spouses and children living in small apartments. Many of the students are away from home, living in residence for upwards of 4 years as they earn their degrees. For foreign students, or even those from out of town, it can be lonely and difficult living away from their families. Especially around the Christmas season. We were invited to put on a little show and visit with some of the students, and with finals in full swing many of them appreciated the study break!

There was a pretty good turn out, a couple of the resident couples and their small children came to play with the dogs, and a few younger university students came for a visit as well. Gio and his therapy buddy, Gina the Miniature Poodle, loved all of the attention and enjoyed showing off their tricks. They have one duo trick that is always a crowd pleaser. I put Gio in a stand-stay while Gina jumps over him and springs off of his back a couple times, ending with a dash underneath his belly.

But, of course, it's all about the cuddles and bum-scratches in the end.


Coco said...

My father came to this country as a foreign exchange student. He didn’t know anyone and it was hard for him to make friends since English was his 9th language. My father LOVES dogs; I am sure that if SF State had a program that did what you did for those students, he would have loved to attend. It warms my heart and brings tears to my eyes to see the happiness on those students faces. On behalf of everyone who comes to this country to study leaving behind all that they know for and education, I thank you for making a difference.

Happy Holidays,

LeeTal – Coco’s Mommy

Josh and Jess said...

Visiting students? What a wonderful idea, we had never thought of that. We bet you made these guys real happy and then you got to enjoy all the cuddles and tummy scratches. Life as a therapy dog is not so bad, eh?


We would have loved to see that act. Dad can appreciate what you did for the students. Dad spent some time in South Korea and Panama.

He always told us, what you miss most is the little things.

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