PAWS for a Study Break!

by Alyssa Caliguri, Associate Director of Admissions and Student Affairs

There are typically high levels of stress on college campuses during the weeks leading up to Final Exams. To help address this, a practice common across colleges in the U.S. involves bringing trained therapy dogs to their campuses to interact with their students and provide emotional support. Webb already has a long tradition of dogs visiting (or even residing on) campus. Over the past few years, Sully, Barney, Duke, Pebbles, Callie, Dan, Beau, Diego, Holly, and other employee dogs have spent some time on campus with Webbies. On Tuesday, June 15th, two therapy dogs from Therapy Dogs of Long Island joined in on the fun and visited the Webb Institute campus. T to help relieve some stress before final exams. Toby, the golden retriever, and Lucy, a Labrador retriever, greeted students in the Visconti Reception Room and provided some well-deserved relief from the workload and studying. According to Therapy Dogs of Long Island, “Dogs can help improve mental and physical health, pain management, and behavior/interpersonal interaction.

Dogs can also reduce heart rate, blood pressure, fear and anxiety, and aggression.” Toby and Lucy brought unconditional love and many smiles to the students’ faces during this time.

There is something special and calming about a dog’s companionship, and its ability to understand feelings and situations around it, without ever having a conversation.

Marguerite Caliguri, Toby’s owner states, ” Bringing Toby to therapy visits has been very rewarding for both of us as a therapy dog team. Toby can really pick up on people’s feelings; at the same time, I’ve seen people’s attitude change completely for the better once they see Toby coming. It is also equally as rewarding for Toby to socialize, lend a paw, and brighten someone’s day. He thrives on being with people and seeing that he loves it so much, I knew I had to share it with as many people as I can.” Student wellness is key to academic success. The Office of Admissions and Student Affairs hopes to continue providing wellness initiatives throughout the upcoming year to help the students thrive in and out of the classroom environment.