Therapy dogs unLEASH stress


Color Block + Surprise Day + homework and tests in one week = lots of stress for a Marian girl!

Thankfully, Love on a Leash provided a cuddly way to relieve the buildup of stress.

On March 16, Love on a Leash brought in three therapy dogs for girls to visit during their free time. It also turned out to be Surprise Day, but that didn’t stop students from coming to see the dogs. Throughout the day, there was  a consistent line going down the Quad stairs.

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Life is Ruff! Kate Kellen ’18, Lauren Phillips ’19, Diana Elizalde ’18, and Julia Hingorani ’18 gather around one of the Love on a Leash dogs during their surprise day. photo by beccawilliams

Love on a Leash is a company determined to brighten someone’s day. There is no charge for a session and everyone involved is a volunteer. Dogs seem to be the most common therapy pet, but Love on a Leash also has therapy cats and rabbits. However, the Omaha chapter does not have any current therapy cats or rabbits.

Student Board decided it would be a great idea for Love on a Leash to come to Marian, especially for Surprise Day. “Originally we were trying to think of fun things for Surprise Day. That’s when we thought of puppies!” junior Bunny Nelson said. The Student Board girls wanted to bring something new and exciting into the Surprise Day tradition.

“Walls Night fundraiser is actually going to Love on a Leash,” Nelson said when asked about Marian’s future involvement with the company. “Hopefully Walls Night will go well and we will get a lot of donations.”

Students look forward to the potential return of Love on a Leash. “Everyone was so excited about it. Maybe over finals week?” junior Natalie Sterba said.  According to Sterba and Harvard Health Publications, petting dogs has been scientifically proven to relieve stress.

Sterba said that her dog is always there for her when she is stressed out.  “She comes to me, and she knows when I’m freaking out,” Sterba said.

Betty Jo Addison is the leader of the Omaha Love on a Leash chapter.

“It is proven that petting an animal lowers a person’s blood pressure and anxiety!” Addison said.

She noted that the company often has dogs in schools and learning environments. “Some of our members are teachers and they take their dogs to school with them each day, and they are in the classrooms,” she said.

Love on a Leash often does one time visits, similar to the one on Surprise Day.

“We do one time visits during finals week at Creighton, Clarkson, and UNO,” Addison said.

Therapy dogs can have a great effect on people, especially stressed out students.

If Love on a Leash has proved anything, it’s that a dog can truly be a Marian girl’s best friend!

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