Therapy dogs make an appearance on campus
By Leah Ching, Editor-in-Chief
There’s a reason dogs are considered “man’s (or woman’s) best friend.” Four-legged, fluffy, and affectionate, dogs are the ideal animals that can cheer students up after a stressful day of classes, or after a session of cramming for midterms. With many students a long way from home and potentially missing their family pets, the university, as part of the “Lakehead Loves U” campaign, arranged a special visit from St. John’s Ambulance Therapy Dogs to the Chancellor Paterson Library. Last Tuesday night, the dogs visited the Library’s Learning Commons where they were greeted by masses of welcoming students. The Argus’ multimedia coordinator, Sarah McPherson popped in to snap some photos of the special visitors. These volunteer dogs are part of a tradition that started in June 1992 by St. John’s Ambulance in Peterborough. Today, through St John’s Ambulance, nearly 3000 therapy dog teams reach thousands annually at universities, hospitals, retirement homes, and community centres. “It’s really silly how something as simple as playing with a puppy can just make your day,” said one student who was studying at the library during the therapy dogs’ visit. “They’re just so playful and affectionate. I have a soft spot for the goldens as well, I can’t see one without stopping to pet it. Especially since I left my family pet back home with my parents in Southern Ontario.” According to St. John’s Ambulance, Golden retrievers are often used as therapy dogs because of their friendliness, calmness, and gentle disposition (plus they’re adorably furry and infinitely cute). If you have a friendly dog that is well trained, and loves providing attention, affection, and comfort, you may consider volunteering your pet with St. John’s Ambulance to become a therapy dog. The visit by these four-legged volunteers brought joy and smiles to the faces of stressed out students on a Tuesday night. These simple visits from therapy dogs that brighten people’s days are a reminder what a special place pups hold in the hearts of students and their families at Lakehead, and throughout Canada.