by Summer Hubert
Therapy Dogs are trained certified pets that help a person or a group with social-emotional support. They have been proven to help students with stress and anxiety. The therapy dog’s one task is to provide comfort to one or multiple people. With training, therapy dogs will be unbothered by tugging or pulling on their fur, so the dogs can interact freely with humans. They are trained to be gentle and willing to accept any hugs. Their sweet demeanors and unconditional love may have a therapeutic benefit to those people who face complex health challenges.
Students go through myriad emotions throughout the school year. With tests and homework piling up, students can feel overwhelmed and stressed out. To help students cope with the mental pressures of being a teenager, Oceanside Highschool has created the Wellness Center (a brand new room in the back of the OHS library) to provide a place for students to relax and calm down during the course of the school day. The room is equipped with comfy furniture, various games, and whiteboards for students to do school work on or to make recommendations to better the Wellness center.
Something else that makes the Wellness Center even more extraordinary are the therapy dogs that come to visit once a week! The two therapy dogs, Maddie and Suzie, who are provided by an organization called Therapy Dogs of Long Island, visit the Wellness Center on Thursdays during periods 4,5,6, and 7. Students are invited to come and interact with the dogs during an off period or a lunch period. Therapy dogs are an excellent way for students to get their minds off of whatever may be stressing them out on any given day. With the help of the therapy dogs, students can have a few minutes during the course of the day for some relaxation and comfort with these friendly pups. So, when you get a chance, come on up to the Wellness Center in the OHS library to relax, get your mind off things, and visit with these adorable therapy dogs.