Director of Educational and Counseling Services Marissa Crandall is training her new dog, Augie, to become a therapy animal who will be available to comfort Marlborough students.
“It would be a really good option for soothing students to have a loving little dog that they can come and cuddle when they are having a hard time,”Crandall said.
Research proves that therapy animals are extremely effective in reducing anxiety. According to UCLA Health, “The simple act of petting animals releases an automatic relaxation response.” They also can reduce loneliness, which is another anxiety trigger.
Research also shows that they can “reduce the initial resistance that might accompany therapy,” which might be helpful for students that have felt like talking to Crandall, but were apprehensive or nervous.
After hearing about Augie, many students have expressed their excitement about the idea of having her around
“I think it’s really cute, and it will make people feel more comfortable in Dr. Crandall’s office,” Emma ’20 said.
Though Augie has not been approved by the American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen program yet, she is working toward passing the test. Some of the requirements include sitting politely for petting and staying in control while walking through a crowd. Crandall thinks that when Augie does pass, she will be an extremely positive addition to the community.
“She has such a great temperament and personality,” Crandall said.
Crandall hopes that when students are having a bad day, they can simply come hug Augie to boost their emotional and physical health.