Therapy dogs help students de-stress before finals


Auva Soheili

Sophomores Nicole Doud, Emily Kim, Samantha Turtle, and Sabrina Jackson gather around Wilbur the therapy dog.

Auva Soheili, Staff Writer

Therapy dogs wag their way to the rescue in order to alleviate student stress leading up to finals before summer break.

Last Thursday, May 23, two therapy dogs from the Peninsula Humane Society accompanied their owners to Carlmont for students to connect with them. With the added stress of finals piling on top of daily schoolwork, therapy dogs were invited to provide a comforting environment.

“I think [the dogs] bring students happiness. Touch therapy on animals is shown to relieve a lot of stress and not just for students, but for anybody,” said Lisa McCoy, the owner of the therapy dog named Roma.

The ASB Human Relations Commission has been running this event for the past four years in an effort to support overwhelmed students. ASB partners with the Peninsula Humane Society and SPCA to plan this event a few months in advance.

“Roma and I have been going to schools for a little over a year,” McCoy said. “We do a lot of therapy at different places: hospitals, psychiatric wards, the jail, and libraries.”

Therapy dogs are trained to remain calm with a simple incentive system: stay still and get pet.

This time around, Roma, a Labrador, and a pug named Wilbur were the stars of the event.

Following third period, students flocked to the ASB room during lunch to take a much-needed break in the company of the dogs.

“Spending time with the dogs is a nice way to release stress–it’s calming,” said Jordan English, a freshman.

The school’s dog lovers were all smiles, and their adoring comments about the dogs encompassed the ASB room.

“It’s nice to get to pet a dog. It’s very comforting,” said Emma Evans, a sophomore. “I tend to miss my dog a lot at school, so this helps me.”

Many students come to partake in the stress-free environment.

“For me, the dogs help relieve stress because it’s a break from all the chaos,” said Jaime Young, a sophomore.

Furthermore, Carolyn Wang, a sophomore and member of the Human Relations Commission in ASB, has been able to get a first-hand experience with the impact that having the therapy dogs on campus has.

“I think having therapy dogs really benefits the overall atmosphere at our school. Students become a lot more relaxed and calm during the event and it’s a nice break from all the stress they have during the school day,” Wang said.

Each year as finals draw nearer; students enjoy the companionship that the therapy dogs have to offer.

“It would be great to get therapy dogs at Carlmont more often,” Wang said. “Therapy dogs have a lot of benefits and could help students with the stressful environment throughout other stressful times of the year, like during AP testing.”