Therapy Dogs Make a "Paws"itive Impact on Rocky Run Students

November 02, 2022

Anyone walking by the Rocky Run lecture hall or courtyard this week might have been surprised to see some canine visitors! This week, the Rocky Run student services department organized a wellness event for students, arranging for two visits from therapy dogs. Students were able to visit with the dogs, give them lots of love and head pats, and find some extra joy within their day. This year students got a special treat- a miniature therapy horse named Lola stopped by, all decked out in her best shoes!

Having therapy dogs at school to support social emotional development is such a treat for all of our students. Unlike service dogs who help individuals with specific health disabilities, therapy dogs are trained to provide comfort and support to those they work with. Research shows that therapy animals improve mood and provides anti-stress effects on the body (i.e., lowering blood pressure, decreased heart rate, increases oxytocin). Additionally, interactions with therapy dogs help kids learn social skills and stimulate positive social behavior – dogs are friendly faces who provide companionship and provide no judgement of the person petting their belly. Kids bond easily with therapy dogs and help them feel more connected and confident.

A big thanks and a high five/handshake to all of our therapy animals and their humans for stopping by!