The workload of a college student can feel massive at times. Students cope with the pressures in different ways, some by having a favorite snack and some by getting away from campus for a few hours. Still others have found a unique way to help with the stresses found in everyday life. Pet therapy involves the help of either an emotional support or service animal.
Business Administration major Caitlin Peach lives on campus with her dog Nashoba. Nashoba is being trained as a service dog to help her owner with handling anxiety. Peach has taken on the majority of the required training as Nashoba’s handler. She heard about emotional support animals and service dogs for panic disorder when she was searching for ways to combat anxiety problems.
“Training Nashoba has been tough,” Peach said. “The important part about this is that her training is for being a service dog, which means she’s being trained so that she can behave in public.”
Nashoba, a 6-month old chocolate Lab mix, is full of energy. Peach said it has been a challenge to find constructive ways for Nashoba to spend her energy. Nashoba requires frequents walks and time outside.
“She has to know basic obedience as well as more advanced behaviors,” Peach said.”
Peach said her favorite part of having Nashoba is the cuddles.
Sports management major Tiffany Richeson owns a seven-year old Australian shepherd mix named Carley. Richeson said the best part about having Carley as an emotional support dog on campus is having her best friend with her wherever she goes. Richeson is on the track team and said Carley travels with the team as a kind of mascot.
Richeson said the hardest part of having Carley is sometimes having to leave her behind.
“Since she is with me so much, when I don’t have her with me I think I am missing something,” Richeson said.