Once again Sunshine Friends participated in Syracuse University’s De-Stress Event. The event is aimed at helping students to take a break from the stress of winter finals and spend much needed time mentally and physically resting and relaxing. On December 7th six SFI volunteer teams were available in the Schine Student Center between 10:00 pm and 11:30 pm for students to come and experience the calming benefits of interacting with our therapy dogs.
“Students waited over forty minutes to spend two minutes with us,” said SFI volunteer Dusan Palider who attended the event with his Cockapoo, “Cat.” Said Palider, “The students were very happy. Multiple times they said things like ‘this is exactly what I needed’, or ‘I am not worried about the midterms now.'”
The students were not the only attendees who benefited from participating in the event. “Cat loved it” said Palider. “We should do this more often!” Sunshine Friends has recently expanded its college program at the request of Universities and Colleges such as Syracuse and Oswego. It is clear that the healing benefits of human-pet interaction can benefit anyone at any age. Whether the goal is to de-stress, smile, or work toward physical recuperation, our SFI dogs are always up to the task. “Multiple studies show that petting dogs releases all sorts of hormones that makes us happy and relaxed,” said Palider. While our SFI dogs can not help the students at Syracuse University complete their finals, if they helped to ease the burden of their stress for an evening, we hope the students are able to use the benefits of that interaction to help them power through the challenging days to follow.