Spending time with animals, especially dogs is a great way to calm down stressed students. Dogs make everyone smile and when dogs snuggle up against someone, everything begins to feel better. Fransisco Anderson, a nursing professor from Harvard Medical School stated, “You can release some of the emotions to a pet that you can’t a human.” Dogs and other animals are great in counseling centers for students to visit regularly. Some colleges and universities such as University of California and Yale Law School are considering letting people check out dogs in their library catalog. Both of these schools have resident therapy dogs on campus to aid their students. Dorms scramble to book the dogs at Kent State to help comfort upset students. A teacher at Kent State, Kathleen Adalme said, “I don’t care if it’s 10 o’clock at night, the dog and I go to the dorm and sit on the floor. The kids are crying and they grab the dog and put their face in the fur and just let it go.” – USA News Today.
Playing or just petting an animal can increase levels of the stress-reducing hormone oxytocin and decrease production of the stress hormone cortisol. If Ashland High School had the resources and space for dogs to be in the counseling center during school hours, students could visit them. Our school could be a leader in happier students and a helpful community.
There are a couple of the therapy dogs that are already at AHS, Ms. French’s Baxter, the beautiful and mellow black lab who absolutely loves teenagers and Moto, Mr. Leis’s therapy dog. The library could have dogs to check out for a period of time during class or lunch to pet.