The Taylor Hall lobby filled with students Thursday afternoon as they ate donuts and gathered to pet three therapy dogs brought to campus for the event.
Dogs and Donuts, an event with the aptly name, combined the National Donut Day celebrations with an opportunity for students to relax and maybe even take some service hours.
Madelyn Powers, a junior English major on the Living Learning Community Event Planning Staff, said that after planning the event, organizers realized Thursday was not National Donut Day but decided to move on with their plans.
“We thought today would be National Donut Day. It’s not like that, but we’re pretending it still is, and just like the interludes, like they’re about to happen and the finals are about to happen, ”Powers said. “You know how stressed everyone is, it’s super nice to take some stress off with some dogs.”
Students could make “tie blankets” out of fleece provided by LLC event planning staff and stuff them with scraps to make dog beds and toys.
The event also included training on the differences between therapy animals, service animals and animals for emotional support.
Rebeccah Maley, a resident director responsible for the LLC’s event planning team, said she decided to bring in representatives from Eastern’s health education resource center as additional support for students who may be dealing with emotional stressors.
“After what happened this weekend, we thought it would be a good idea to add extra support to our students as that was already the theme of the program,” said Maley. “Because this could be a really good place that students who wanted to talk have some people here to give them this space to talk.”
The three dogs, Betty, Bear and Mazie, are all usually volunteered to work with children or patients in the hospital.
All three are considered therapy dogs, which means their main purpose is only to show people emotional support.
Therapy dogs do not require thorough service animal-level training, but they do need to be calm, friendly, and able to handle various situations.
Emotional support animals also require less training. ESAs are designed to serve as a companion for a person and can often be given special permission to live in a place where pets are not normally allowed.
Service animals require rigorous training, such as helping blind people find their way around or alerting others when their owner has a medical emergency. You are allowed to be in places like grocery stores where animals are not normally allowed.
Emilie Bowman, a junior beginner in English teaching, is also on the LLC Event Planning Staff and helped with the Dogs and Donuts event with Powers.
“Who doesn’t love dogs? Who doesn’t love free food? ”Said Bowman. “Basically, we really speak to everyone. We just want everyone to come out, relax, have a good time and get something to eat. “
The LLC Event Planning Staff works with all five LLCs on campus, including Freshman Connection, Pine Honors College, Roosevelt Leadership Institute, Doug DiBianco Community, and Transfer LLC.
Luke Taylor can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]