Two paws up for therapy dogs

Park holds therapy dog event


Caedon Exsted

Sophomore Issabella Zapata-Nelson pets a therapy dog at an event May 22. Natural Helpers held a therapy dog event for students at Park.

Caedon Exsted

With the end of school nearing and finals piling up, stress is on the minds of many students, according to senior Sophia Earle. To help reduce stress levels, Natural Helpers held a therapy dog event on May 22. Earle said this opportunity was a chance to take a step back and relax. 

“I really thought this would be a good idea to do after AP and IB testing, to have everyone destress from three weeks of stress,” Earle said. “I reached out to North Star Therapy and they were super willing to come in and help us out. I know they go and help out other schools with therapy dog events, so I thought it would be great to partner with them.” 

Senior Ruby Livon said the experience took away unnecessary stress. 

“It benefited me because school can get really stressful, especially towards the end of the year with finals and everything,” Livon said. “So having the dogs was just nice and calming, (and you) kind of forget about everything else going on. You could just go in and chill.” 

Senior Sam Coggan said her previous experience with therapy dogs led her to take part in the event. 

“I remember in elementary school they would bring therapy dogs, and they hadn’t done so in high school before,” Coggan said. “It was cool that they had them there and I wanted to check it out.”

Sophomore Micah Curtis said the relaxing environment was a big part in his enjoyment at the event, and saw the opportunity as motivation for the rest of the school year.

“My favorite part was getting to meet all the puppies and see how cute their faces were,” Curtis said. “Now I’m more relaxed and I know that I have puppies on my side, so I’m going to use these puppies as motivation for the finals.” 

Earle said the therapy dog event’s success may influence it to become offered at Park on a more regular basis.

“As a senior, I’m not exactly sure where this will lead next year, because I won’t be here,” Earle said. “But I would love for North Star Therapy to partner with us. Maybe even on a regular basis and coming in once a month or once every few weeks would be great.” 

Coggan said the event allowed students a beneficial break from classes and she would encourage others to attend.

“I got to chit-chat with some people, and it was nice to have a little break in the middle of the day,” Coggan said. “A lot of people would benefit just from being able to take a break from their classes.”