Thursday February 13, school was in session for the therapy dogs. Accompanied by their master, they are part of the organization Go Team Therapy Dogs. The teams, consisting of a dog and a handler, go around different events to help relieve people some stress with the dogs and take some time for themselves.
Volunteer Carla Albers, who visited our school, said that “it’s just a volunteer thing that we enjoy to do, it makes us feel good to see how people react towards dogs.”
The Go Team is a nationwide organization composed of over one thousand teams. It all started in Colorado Springs after the devastating Waldo Canyon wildfire in June 2012. Thousands of residents were evacuated and about 300 houses were destroyed. Therapy dogs visited displaced residents and provided comfort and distraction to those dealing with the tragedy. The dogs receive rigorous training and learn how to react in situations such as working in assisted living and nursing homes or in TSA airport security drills. The purpose of the organization is to offer comfort and care to those in need.
Junior Julian Webber-Romanos agrees that, “it’s great to take a break from everything around you, in the world, and just chill out with these calm animals.”
Indeed, dogs can make people feel better and calm us down. Whether it is because sometimes they can be easier to relate to or because it simply feels good to pet them. Many Cheyenne students enjoyed seeing the dogs at school. They forget about stressful school-related matters for a little while.
The Go Team dogs make an impact in our everyday life by bringing us sometimes well-needed comfort. And as volunteer Carla Albers happily said that it put a “smile on people’s faces.”