Paw-fect stress relief

‘Relax and Paws’ brings therapy dogs to campus

Warm balls of fluff were sprawled out on the quad, offering support to students who were swimming under the wave of stress on April 3.

Therapy dogs from different breeds, including Golden Retrievers and Saint Bernards, came with their owners to help relieve stress from students and staff during midterms and the approaching finals season.

Abigayle Neria, a peer mentor and the organizer of the event, said the purpose of this event was to give Cosumnes River College the experience of having therapy dogs on campus.

“This is the first time CRC has hosted ‘Relax and Paws,’” said Neria. “Our sister schools have hosted this event many times as well as other CSU and UC campuses. We are going to try hold more of these events.”

The dogs come from an organization called Lend a Heart, where trained dogs go to events and places in the community to provide happiness and love for people in need of it.

Lend a Heart volunteers began providing animal-assisted therapy in 1987, when bringing your pets into private places wasn’t as commonly accepted as it is today, according to the Lend a Heart online website.

Therapy dog owner Erin Fong and her furry partner Biscuit have been a part of the program for six months and enjoy coming to community events.

“We love coming to these events,” said Fong. “Biscuit loves the students and the people. When I put on his red collar he gets super excited and knows we are going to a community event.”

“This was very relaxing,” said Adriana McDonald, a 21-year-old dance major. “It takes my mind off homework for 30 minutes and I get to meet new people and play with the dogs.”

Shani Zuberi, a 21-year-old film and digital production major, said she liked the event. Zuberi said even though she was expecting little puppies at the event, she enjoyed herself while she was there.

“I wish the dogs were smaller but they were beautiful and fun to be around,” Zuberi said. “ I would love for them to come back on camps to calm us down for busy times in our lives.”

Neria said the Peer Mentors Committee plans to have a ’Relax and Paws’ events on campus again for a future semester due to popular demand.

CORRECTION: The story reflects a correction made to the date.