At Clarke University, students now have the option to attend Pet Therapy two times a week, which can help reduce stress and anxiety.
In previous semesters, Pet Therapy met once a week on Wednesdays from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Due to popular demand, Pet Therapy now meets twice a week on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m., giving students more options to attend.
“Pet Therapy is now two days instead of one by popular demand by Clarke students” the student organizer of Pet Therapy, Laura, explained. “We put a vote on the university’s Twitter asking which day of the week students would prefer for another pet therapy slot, and the majority answered Tuesday. So, now it’s Tuesdays and Wednesdays, which is convenient for students who might be busier on one of those days, but still want to see a dog that week.”
In further conversation, Laura stated, “Pets just make me feel calm and loved, and it’s so rewarding to love them back. They’re always a nice de-stressor because all they expect from you is pats and treats.”
“It makes me feel at home” Alex, a Clarke student explained. “Pets are a part of most people’s lives and helps many of us feel better overall. When I go to Pet Therapy, I can forget about all of my school work for the time being. I get to enjoy good company and the pets help reduce my stress levels.”
Laura explained her motivations for organizing Pet Therapy. “I understand how important it is for students to have a break throughout their week. Schoolwork and jobs and life can be insane, and I know how refreshing it is to look forward to an event that doesn’t involve high stress or responsibility.”
Multiple students explained that they can get more homework accomplished later by attending Pet Therapy after a day of classes.
“It gives our brains a rest after long hours of lectures in our classes. We get to de-stress while petting these pets and all of our worries temporarily go away” explained Kelsey, another Clarke student.
Many students agreed that being able to pet a dog in the middle of the day is a de-stressor and positive experience.
“The Pet Therapy program was something I had loved about Clarke since freshman year. I would make an effort every week to try and see the dog that was coming” Laura said. “Taking time, even if it’s just passing by on the way to your dorm room, to pet a happy dog is just so calming. Pet therapy can even be the highlight of someone’s day.”
“I’m glad Pet Therapy is now offered on Tuesdays. I always had a class from 3 to 4:15 on Wednesdays and never got the option to attend. Now I can attend on Tuesdays when I don’t have a late class” Alex explained.
As a consensus, students at Pet Therapy on Tuesday agreed that Pet Therapy was a way to break up their long day of classes and the homework that had to be done that night.
By: Kelli Peterson
*Pictures curtsey of Kelli Peterson and Clarke University