Therapy Dog Thursdays give students the chance to de-stress and put their troubles behind them while spending time with furry friends.
Gary Martin, dean of students, and his wife, Tracy, offer the therapy services of their three Golden Retrievers to make Therapy Dog Thursdays possible. Alongside them, the program’s case managers Jamie Kranowitz and Christin Verna help facilitate the events.
“Therapy Dog Thursdays initially started with the [Dr. Martin],” said Kranowitz. “He and his wife have a love for Golden Retrievers and have been training three of their own to become therapy dogs.”
For the dogs to earn service hours, the Martins saw an ideal opportunity to place their three pets, Anna, Sarah and Aja, alongside Lynn students. The program, which began in March 2017, is immensely successful. To relieve their worries, students can relax, pet and play with the dogs for 10 minutes at a time.
“We allow brief appointments for students, allowing us to run two appointments simultaneously,” said Kranowitz. “We can accommodate about 12 students for the whole session.” Whether an individual is feeling anxious, stressed or simply missing the comfort of his or her pet at home, spending time with the therapy dogs on campus can assist in making students overcome almost anything.
“[Our program is] a way to help deal with stress, anxiety and homesickness,” said Kranowitz. “We have dogs that you can come pet, and that’s all you have to do; you don’t have to think about anything else.” The program, located in the Trinity Residence Hall Lobby, is available every Thursday from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. For more information about Therapy Dog Thursdays or to schedule an appointment, students may email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Walk-ins are also welcome.