College can often be a very stressful time between early classes, challenging tests, and long, interactive lectures. Schedules are tight, sleep is minimal, and relaxing, quiet moments can be few and far between. One of the things we all firmly believe at Emerald City Pet Rescue is that pets are therapeutic. They intuitively respond to the stress in humans by bonding with us, cuddling with us, and taking us out of the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives. Dogs live in the moment and their presence encourages us to do the same.
Yesterday, we had a wonderful opportunity to bring some of our rescue dogs to the University of Washington so they could participate in a “De-stress With Pets” event. For an hour, college students could come in to a room, sit on the ground, and pet and play with dogs.
Where in the world was this when I was in college?!
Three of our currently adoptable dogs, Buddy, Indigo, and Kona, joined us from the rescue along with some dogs owned by employees.
We had never participated in an event like this before, so we weren’t sure what to expect. We hoped the dogs would all behave, act friendly, and successfully de-stress these college students and we were not disappointed! Within the hour, nearly 100 students came to the event. It was truly amazing to watch the dogs light up, even in a room packed full of people, and without hesitation, greet people, ask for pets, sit on laps, and chase after toys in games of fetch. It was as if they fully understood that their “job” was simply to bring joy to others, and they found joy themselves in doing so.
As a dog-mom myself, I know firsthand the therapeutic benefits to having dogs around. When I’m feeling down, they don’t leave my side. When I’m stressed, they adamantly insist that I take a seat, remove myself from my “hurried” compulsions, and pet them in a slow, gentle rhythm until I am as calm as they are. Even so, watching them display such heart, soul, and amazingly compassionate intuition toward dozens of strangers all in one room was something I will remember for a long time.
We plan to do more events like this in the future. It’s an amazing, and I imagine much-needed break for college students, and it’s a wonderful experience for the dogs, as well.
We are always open to opportunities to reach out into the community and help others, educate others, and along with our wonderful rescue pets, facilitate bonding and appreciation between humans and animals alike.
If you are looking for a furry friend of your own to help de-stress you on a daily basis, our pets are gladly up to the task! Check them out at www.emeraldcitypetrescue.org