Pooches are plentiful on campus whether in offices, departments, or buildings, like Bailey Health Center.
Their dog duties started about four years ago when Dr. Jeffrey Goldstein and Jodi Schluter were getting puppies. Goldstein brought in his new golden retriever, Munson, while Schluter brought in her new black labrador, Raven.
“We saw how uplifting the environment became for students who weren’t feeling well,” says Schluter.
From there the dogs have only grown in number as Schluter bred Raven, keeping one from the litter, Chief, and passing another puppy, Finn, along to a nurse.
It only happens on rare occasions to have all four dogs in one medical office.
“We usually bring in the puppies since they need to get more energy out during the day,” says Schluter.
That’s where students come in. A walk by Bushkill Creek. Playing ball on the Quad. A jogging companion. The dogs play many roles.
“Many students have dogs at their homes and miss them while at school,” says Schluter. “This gives them a chance to feel more at home and establish a dog routine.”
According to Anxiety and Depression Association of America, pets help to alleviate stress, worry, and feelings of loneliness. For people who manage a mental health problem, pets provide emotional support, a sense of security, and daily routine. Pets also are an easy way to get to know others and build friendships.
Nearly 30 students come to Bailey on a first-come, first-served basis to take a dog out. The dogs love the attention and activities to the point of confusion … when a student comes in, not for the regular walk, but for a wellness visit with the doctor. Then the dog sits begging outside the exam room door.