As midterms approach, the Student Activities Board (SAB) hosted a National Love Your Pet Day event in the Living Room of University Center on Feb. 20 by inviting working dogs to celebrate this day and comfort students.
Creature Comfort Pet Therapy brought Sawyer, a Weimaraner; Ziggy, a mixed dog; and Kobie, an English cream golden retriever. SAB provided arts and crafts for students to make for their furry friends. Attendees made picture frames with popsicle sticks and glued a picture of their beloved pets.
Students shared their stories about having pets, the benefits of having them around and tips for students on how to deal with not having pets on campus.
Lesly Guzman, a senior criminal justice major, commutes to classes and gets to see her lab mix dog before leaving for school and when she comes home.
“I feel that my dog is very therapeutic for me,” Guzman said. “Having a dog teaches you how to be responsible. It is also therapeutic.”
Guzman said that if she is away from home, she FaceTimes her dog.
Matt Pascual, a freshman biology major, also commutes. He has a black lab mix at home to see every day.
“Having a dog makes me feel safer and it’s great to have someone around and for comfort in general,” Pascual said.
He added that being around dogs makes him happier. For students who are away from their pets, Pascual suggests attending dog therapy sessions.
Valerie Dorsett, a senior psychology major, commutes to school and gets to spend time with her black and white cat.
“Pets make you happy and relaxed,” Dorsett said. “When you come home, they are waiting for you. They put a smile on your face, especially after a hard day.”
Dorsett suggested attending events to visit the therapy dogs and looking at pictures of cute animals will help students cope with being away from their pets.
“I had two exams earlier and it is nice to come see the dogs,” she said.
Melissa Soccodato, a sophomore speech pathology major, lives on campus, while her Shih Tzu is back home. She shared the benefits of having a dog.
“They’re very comforting,” she said. “When I’m upset, my dog comes over and comforts me.”
Soccodato said her mom sends her pictures of her dog when she is away for college.
“The pictures help,” she said. “I also try to find others to keep me busy. When I FaceTime my mom, I ask her to place the camera towards my dog.”
Soccodato added that she knows a lot of her friends have fish on campus.
Sapna Swayampakula, a junior criminal justice major, lives away from home, where her Maltese and Yorkshire terrier mixed is.
“I have pictures of my dog in my apartment and on my phone,” she said.
Swayampakula said that she loves being around pets during stressful days. She said she finds it to be a good way to relax.
Swayampakula said she recommends students to FaceTime their pets and have pictures of their pets in their dorms or apartments.
“I love all animals,” she said. “I would recommend either a cat or a dog.”
Alexa Coughlin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.