Therapy Dogs at GHS Help Students De-Stress During Exam Week

Double hugs during a visit of therapy dogs from Therapy Dogs International at GHS during exam week. Jan 18, 2019 Photo: Leslie Yager

Recently appointed GHS School Resource Officer Fred Reisch visited students and the therapy dogs from Therapy Dogs International in room 615 on Friday. Jan 18, 2019 Photo: Leslie Yager

On Friday a dozen students waited eagerly in GHS room 615 for the appearance of two therapy dogs from Therapy Dogs International, a visit designed to alleviate their stress during exam week.

Earlier in the week, a pair of Doberman Pinschers visited one day, and a pair of Golden Retrievers on another.

On Friday a Retriever and a Yellow Lab were swarmed with students eager to pet them.

Throughout the period some teachers wandered in for a visit.

Recently appointed SRO Fred Reisch stopped by to check out the dogs.

The dog visits supplemented visits from Greenwich Hospital Healing Touch volunteers who use a technique they describe as an energy therapy that helps people feel calm and relaxed.

The idea is to clear people’s minds, and toward that end the dogs impact was visible. As each dog arrived the awaiting students greeted them like celebrities, whipping out their cell phones to take photos and videos.

“They’re something that makes everyone happy,” one boy said.

“You forget about exams for a little while,” another student said.

Reading teacher Hollis Hefferan, who is new this year to GHS said she was happy to loan her classroom for the therapy dog visits.

“You see these kids in the hall and then they come in here and you see a different side of them,” she said. “The dogs bring out their more charismatic sides.”

Therapy dog Kodi, an 11 year old Labrador was greeted like a celebrity on Friday at GHS. Jan 18, 2019 Photo: Leslie Yager

Kodi seemed to be smiling during his visit to GHS on Friday. Jan 18, 2019 Photo: Leslie Yager

Therapy dogs visited GHS during exam week. Jan 18, 2019 Photo: Leslie Yager

Therapy dogs visited GHS during exam week. Jan 18, 2019 Photo: Leslie Yager

Therapy dogs visited GHS during exam week. Jan 18, 2019 Photo: Leslie Yager

Therapy dogs visited GHS during exam week. Jan 18, 2019 Photo: Leslie Yager

Therapy dogs visited GHS during exam week. Jan 18, 2019 Photo: Leslie Yager