Aahhhhh! What a way for a hardworking guide dog in training to spend a warm, sunny spring day but sprawled out on the grass with adoring hands all over you.
This is how Monte spent yesterday afternoon on the UW campus. It was all part of the University Health Service's annual Pet Therapy Day as a way to ease the stress of the students entering into the angst of final exams. Along with about a dozen other mostly friendly canines, including Chancellor Biddy Martin's miniature pooch, Monte was joined by OGDA "babies" Ajax and Angus and Monte's "kindred spirit" Louie. It is quite amazing how just petting a dog has been proven to lower blood pressure and pulse rates and overall ease stress.
It obviously had the intended therapeutic effect; the UW students enthusiastically interacted with the dogs, many of them making return visits and relating stories about how homesick they were for their own pets at home. We actually took the OGDA training jackets off the dogs because the students loved to be right on the ground with them and didn't mind at all that they came away covered in dog hair and grass stains and drool! Monte has no idea what a final exam is, but he will willingly offer himself up for pet therapy any time.