Ohio State brings Buckeye Paws therapy dogs to campus

Axio on facebookAxios on twitterAxios on linkedinAxios on emailA group of Ohio State students pets Buckeye Paws therapy dog ​​Shiloh, a Twitter-famous golden retriever. Photo: Alissa Widman Neese/Axios

Cascade the greyhound retired from a brief racing career a few years ago to a much more easygoing life.

  • On Tuesday, she stretched on a blanket at the oval in scarlet and gray pajamas, calmly accepting pets from eager passersby.

What’s happening: Buckeye Paws, a therapy dog ​​program at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center, expanded this week to the greater campus community.

Why it matters: At a time when reports of mental health concerns are skyrocketing, therapy dogs offer a calming presence.

  • By chance, the hospital program launched the week before the pandemic hit Ohio. Hospital employees volunteered their pups to participate and the therapy dogs now lift spirits on difficult days, colleagues say.

What they’re saying: “Students face a lot of stress. We’re here to offer comfort,” Carrie Anne Thomas, Cascade’s owner and a doctoral student, tells Axios. “I can’t imagine studying for finals and not having my dog ​​with me.”

The bottom line: Her instincts were spot-on.

  • “Just four more days,” a student reminded her friends as they patted a pekingese mix.
  • They were counting down the days until spring break and a reunion with pups back home.

To schedule a visit: Ohio State faculty and students can email [email protected].

Cascade waits to greet students at the Oval on Tuesday. Photo: Alissa Widman Neese/AxiosAxio on facebookAxios on twitterAxios on linkedinAxios on email

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