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Therapy Dogs Come to LHS

Those who have been listening to the announcements recently might already know that if everything goes well, from now until the end of the year LHS will have fuzzy canine friends visiting our counseling office to help our students de-stress!

Meet Riley:

Riley is an English cream golden retriever and a very good girl. She is two and a half years old and passed her canine good citizen test will flying colors. She is described as “Very excited and cute,” and “loves chewing on sticks”.

 

Next up is Benji, the Cardigan Corgi:

Benji “knows he is all that”, “loves treats”, and is “small but mighty”. He too has received his canine good citizen certification.

The dogs will be housed in the counseling office (specifically Mrs. Adams-berger’s room) all day Fridays for anyone who has a free moment and would like to see them. The engineer of this new program is Karolina Stachura, a graduate student at the University of Denver in the process of getting her masters in social work.

“There are proven physiological effects when students do interact with dogs, there are lower blood pressure, overall a calmer physical reaction, just that in itself is a such an amazing thing,” said Stachura.

Stachura had the opportunity to train with Riley training her several times a week last semester, eventually testing her for certification.

“I think honestly high school is so stressful. It’s different for everyone, everyone has something going on and they have to come into the building and be fine. I think it’s a way to get some sort of comfort without really much. Just getting to interact with the animal and know that they honestly love you. It’s unconditional,” she continued.

For those who would like to come see the new furry friends, however, a few considerations do apply:

“It’s also important to note the dog’s welfare, it’s important to recognize that animals get really stressed too. Maybe not bringing all 20 of your friends at once. But they love people that’s why they’re good at this job, because they love people,” said Stachura.

So please stop by the counseling office this spring to help welcome these good dogs and take a little stress out of the day!

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