Who let the dogs in?

Centralia College students taking advantage of the Late Night study session during finals week will have an opportunity to de-stress with the help of three to five therapy dogs on Wednesday, June 8, from 7-8:30 p.m. at the college library. The dogs are provided by a local group that Centralia College assistant professor and Running Start advisor Peggy Goldberg is involved with.

“I’ve always loved dogs, and then several years ago, I heard about therapy dogs and the work they do,” Goldberg explained. “They really help people in all sorts of situations and I wanted to be involved. Sometimes I use them in the advising center. It’s amazing to see how much more open students are when a dog is there.  Especially in the Running Start program, students seem to feel comfortable sharing more when the dog is there, they relax and open up and I get to know them and what their interests are.”

Watching her interact with her newest trainee Dewey, a 14 month old Golden Retriever, her connection with him is apparent. Goldberg is quick to point out the difference between service, emotional support, and therapy dogs. She hopes to one day help create a program at the college that could service the local area.

“Service dogs help people with disabilities, they are working dogs that go through extensive training tailored to the individual and their particular needs,” Goldberg explained. “Emotional support dogs are for people who often have emotional or psychological conditions. Therapy dogs are more for comfort and affection when people are in high stress situations.”

For more information contact Peggy Goldberg at pgoldberg@centralia.edu or 360-736-9391 ext. 265.

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