Man’s Best Friend is Here to Help!

Photo+courtesy+of+Mary+LaValley

Photo courtesy of Mary LaValley

Allison Bridgwater

Imagine you’re on campus at Bucks, stressing out over a huge exam or final. Well, now you can help pet the anxiety away with certified therapy dogs!

Roxy Therapy Dogs is an organization that comes to visit Bucks campuses during midterm and finals season of each semester, when students need all the stress relief they can get. These dogs are certified and have lots of training so they can help students, staff, and everyone else feel better and safer.

Bonnie Jean, a border collie who loves visiting children and bringing comfort to people,is just one of the Roxy comfort dogs that travel through Bucks County to help students. Bonnie Jean is a 7-year-old therapy dog who loves her job.

Bonnie Jean’s Handler, Mary LaValley, who works at Bucks County Free Library, is a Perkasie volunteer who believes, when students engage with dogs or cats, their heart rate changes, relieving anxiety, leaving students confident and giving joy to all.”

In case you missed the visits for midterms, the dogs will be back during finals!

Be sure to stop by next time at the Newtown Campus because the dogs will be in the Gallagher Room in the Rollins Center from April 17, 19, 25 and 27 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. At the same time frame, the Lower Bucks Campus dogs will be in the Commons on April 24 and 25, and at the Upper Campus on April 20 and 26.

Not every dog can be a therapy dog. These dogs must go through many training courses, have a good temperament, and have overall lasting interactions.

Simply by petting a dog, your stress hormones lower, and you feel better! If you want to leave school with a smile on your face, be sure to pet these fluffy friends.

Roxy alone comforts 3,200 children each week, has over 70 teams and is completely reliant on volunteers. The goal of comfort dogs is in the job title, to comfort.

LaValley explains that “dogs need jobs and people need love,” so organizations like these are important because they really do leave an effect wherever they go. Roxy has six programs where the dogs visit schools, hospitals, courthouses, and more, at the request of the community.

Thanks to the partnership of the Bucks Accessibility Office (TAO) and Nor’westerTherapy Dog Organization, the Comfort Dogs on Campus Program is here to provide each Bucks campus with stress reduction during exams.

Roxy Therapy Dogs is not the only organization Bucks has teamed up with, so be on the lookout for Angels on a Leash and the Nor’wester team as well.

These groups help improve learning environments, and help support teachers and students, and the community.

We could all use as much support as possible and are thankful for every opportunity these wonderful animals give us. Since the dogs help us, consider helping them as well byvolunteering or donating to the therapy dogs’ organizations if possible.

For more information on these little helpers, go to https://www.roxytherapydogs.org/, https://norwestertherapydogs.org/, and https://angelonaleash.wildapricot.org/.