Pets on Campus Boost Morale

Genie Lee, News Editor

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Some might ask “Why allow dogs at Campolindo?”

The real question, however, is “Why not?”‘ Dogs can be effective at reducing stress.

Over the years, several puppies have laid paws on our campus, some serving as guide dogs while others simply as companions. These frisky animals never fail to bring a smile to haggard students and staff.

Jamie and Jake Donohoe’s 4-month-old puppy, Otis, has been attending school with them since August. Like a soft pillow of sunshine, Otis, with his wagging tail, is a daily distraction from homework, SAT prep, and college applications.

Otis is training to become a therapy dog.

Donohoe said, “He is getting his volunteer hours working with my freshmen and sophomores and then ultimately, once he’s a little bit older and a little bit better behaved, then we’ll start looking at children’s hospitals.”

The application process to allow Otis on campus was simple, according to Donohoe. Special permission from principal John Walker was required, and gladly given, partly due to Walker’s previous experience with Donohoe’s other dog, which had visited campus in past years.

Dogs like Otis are effective at helping to reduce campus stress.

According to a study done by AnimalSmart, dog-owning hospital patients could maintain their blood pressure at lower levels during times of mental stress better than those who weren’t pet owners. The research concluded that petting or playing with these animals decreased the production of the stress hormone called cortisol.

Campolindo students face an unhealthy amount of personal stress. Personally, I worry constantly about standardized testing and college applications in addition to my daily academic load.

Otis has been essential in helping me relax.

 

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