My name is Gretta O’Shea and I’m a TDI (Therapy Dog International) golden retriever, and a new volunteer “employee” at MCC! If you haven’t yet met me or are unfamiliar with the differences between a “certified therapy dog” and a “service dog,” let me explain:
I’m sure you have encountered “Service Dogs,” those working with individuals to perform particular functions. In the past, we most frequently saw them as companions for the visually impaired, but in recent years, these special dogs have been trained, too, to work with Veterans and others who suffer from PTSD and other illnesses.
But I am not a Service Dog. Nationally certified “Therapy Dogs,” like me, take specific training and pass a nationally recognized test with their handler. My primary “job” is to bring joy, alleviate stress, be loved, and give love to all with whom I work.
In recent years, college campuses have recognized the value and beauty of bringing these trained dogs on campus, particularly in high-stress times for students, faculty, staff, and administration.
In Spring 2016, Dr. Kress encouraged us to host two events, one at the library during the stressful last week of classes and the other on Employee Recognition Day. People loved me and my other therapy dog friends who joined us!
Dr. Kress and my “Mom” met during the summer with the outcome that I get to come to MCC every day this semester! If you see me in the halls, in the library, in the Counseling Center or anywhere else, please feel free to pet me, talk to me, or hug me.
That’s what I’m here for. Dr. Kress and Mom say we are piloting this arrangement to see how well it goes.
Let me give you love and licks to lift your stress!
Since I needed help writing this, Mom says to send her an e-mail if you have any questions or comments.
Gretta and Kathy