Therapy Dog Sessions Return Sept. 20 at 6:30 p.m.

Health 101 Students Can Attend To Fill Class Requirement

The dogs are back!

Hound Hugs and Kanine Kisses, the monthly therapy dog session hosted by the Centennial Student Union, will be Thursday, Sept. 20 in the CSU Lincoln Lounge.

This year’s sessions will have minor changes from last year’s popular event said Lenny Koupal, CSU communications coordinator.

“The new time will be 6:30 to 8 p.m.,” said Koupal, who coordinates the CSU Program. “The group is now known as Paws for Friendship. It will be the same volunteers and their wonderful dogs. They just go by a different name.”

For several years, the CSU has offered therapy dog sessions – first as a Finals Week StressBuster event.

“We added monthly therapy dog sessions after students requested more frequent therapy dog visits. We’ve designated the third Thursday of each month throughout the academic year as Hound Hugs and Kanine Kisses night.” Koupal added.

The event is free. Visitors need only to sign University’s liability waiver.

Koupal said the event remains among the most popular activities in the CSU.

“In last spring’s CSU student survey, students ranked the therapy dog sessions as the third most popular reason for coming to the CSU behind Career Fairs and Stomper’s Cinema,” Koupal said. “These sessions are both welcome and needed as students move through their academic year.”

Dr. Mary Kramer, faculty member with the department of health science, said students enrolled in the Health 101 are encouraged to attend therapy dog sessions as part of three required wellness activities. Students then share their experiences as part of their assignment.

“The reflections are phenomenal,” Kramer said. Some share personal reflections. Others observe the impact the dogs have on other students.

“For some, it reminds them of home and their dog,” Kramer added. “It helps them forget about high anxiety issues in their lives.”

Kramer said the health science department is working on a survey on the impact of therapy dog sessions on college students.

“We are interested to learn more about therapy dogs and students.There’s so much research on the benefits, yet there’s almost nothing out there on (the impact on) college students. ,” Kramer said. “There’s just something we don’t understand on the power of the dog – just putting a hand on a dog – that energy transfer between the person and the dog. It’s magical.”

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