We brought Attitudes in Reverse to our campus for Welcome Week in August. This five-day program for our new students has over 100 mandatory and optional sessions, and so many of them are nervous and anxious about starting college, in addition to missing their pets from home! The line to spend a few minutes with the AIR dogs and teams wrapped around the entire second floor of our student center and is one of our most popular events every year. I can’t thank AIR enough for their partnership, and I can’t wait to bring them back in December to provide a little stress relief during finals.
The importance of having a dog in memory care can be seen immediately. The moment a wagging tail walks through the door, smiles plaster on our residents’ faces. Having the ability to pet the dog, cuddle, & even play, brings back powerful memories. Those are the moments that are treasured. A dog truly does leave footprints on our hearts.
It was such a wonderful visit! Just taking the dogs to the office, we were stopped multiple times by students and adults in the building who just lit up and asked to pet them. The students were so excited to see the dogs and were so amazed that we were able to have them in the school for them.
One young man said “This is the only time you will see my sensitive side – when I am with animals, I am happy.” Another student came back to our office upset later in the day and said she had been having a really rough day but when she came during lunch and saw the dogs, they made her feel calm and happy and she was okay to make it through most of her day. Our staff members said it was like a gift for them to have the dogs in the office during the day – they said they thought is meant as much to them as it did to the students. Our principal said she wants the dogs here all of the time!
We love having the AIR therapy dogs visiting our community. The dogs bring moments of pure joy and peace to our residents. The ability to connect to another warm, living being is priceless and definitely improves the emotional well-being of our residents. We love working with your organization.
Finding ‘just the right dog’ for my 11-year-old son Matthew through the AIR Dogs: Paws for Minds program has made a significant positive impact for a boy challenged by the daily struggles of living with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, depression and anxiety.
Matthew seemingly steps outside of his social awkwardness with his dog Roxie by his side, speaking freely about Roxie’s mixed breed, combination French Bulldog and Beagle, Frengle. Matthew discusses how ‘dogs are good for our mental health’. Typically preferring to spend time with canines over other kids, Matthew happily attends AIR awareness events, seizing the opportunity to showcase Roxie and hang with other dog lovers.