Syracuse University invited high school students to spend a few days on campus and be a part of a summer college program. PAWS of CNY volunteers and their therapy dogs attended camp for an afternoon to visit the participants. The volunteers and their dogs met the student outside of Shaw Hall for a chance to unwind and relax and enjoy the benefits of pet therapy.
The PAWS of CNY volunteers in attendance included Sue and John Stepien and their Bernese Mountain Dog Stella, Lisa Garofalo and her Labrador Mix Dutch, and Kristine Michel and her Golden Retriever Scrappy. The therapy dogs received a lot of attention from the students, and the students were very happy to see them in return.
Many of the students were quoted as saying, “I needed this”, “I this was an awesome idea”, and “I love these dogs.”
Not only did the campers enjoy meeting the PAWS of CNY therapy dogs, they were very interested in learning about where the handlers adopted the dogs, what the dogs are like at home, and wanted to learn more about pet therapy. The students got to ask the handlers some great questions about their dogs and what it is like to work in pet therapy.
The therapy dogs brought smiles to the students’ faces and were very much engaged in the visit. The students and therapy dogs were very happy during the time they got to spend with each other.
— By Kyle Andrake