The tan dog is Bert his owner is Vicki King the other dog is Sophie her owner is Paulette Bennett (Source: Jennifer Grandi)
Therapy dog Bert and his owner Vicki King the other dog is Sophie her owner is Paulette Bennett (Source: Jennifer Grandi)

The Weber State University Davis Campus went to the dogs on Wednesday as students got the chance to destress by interacting with therapy dogs.

Jennifer Grandi, facilitator of the Davis Student Services, sponsored the event to help students destress before finals week.

“I sponsor this event once a semester. The dogs and the students really love this event,” said Grandi.

Dee Voeller of Layton, Utah, brought her golden labradoodle, Annie. Voeller said that the therapy animals must certify with Therapy Animals of Utah every 2 years.

“These dogs are certified and insured for at least $2 million,” she said.

All of the therapy dogs and their owners are members of the organization Therapy Animals of Utah. The therapy animals visit Ogden Regional Medical Center, The Boys and Girls Club, various nursing homes, school reading programs, The Salt Lake International Airport and ENABLE, an organization that services people with disabilities.

Students at the event were visibly excited when the therapy dog owners arrived at the Haven on the second floor of building 2 at the Davis campus of WSU. Many of the students were form NUAMES High School.

“I like to hold the event during the students lunch break, so as many students as possible can enjoy the event,” Grandi said.

Bert, a golden retriever owned by Vicki King of Ogden, was a huge hit with the students. Bert is a former search and rescue dog. Sophie, also known as Eyelashes, is owned by Paulette Bennett of Ogden.

“It takes a certain temperament for the dogs to become therapy dogs,” Bennett said.

According to their owners, Bert and Sophie are boyfriend and girlfriend. Therapy dogs stay very busy and are committed to the visits to the veterans home in Ogden.

Grandi said that she has to plan very far in advance to get the animals for the event because of the strict schedule of the dogs and their owners.

Therapy Animals of Utah is always in need of people to certify their animals. For information, visit their website, therapyanimalsutah.org, or call 801-706-1389.

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