Therapy Dogs to the Rescue

Emily Thouless, St. Peter’s Catholic Secondary School

No matter what high school you may go to in whatever town or city, every student would agree that exam times are stressful. Add cold and snowy winter weather to deal with, on top of exams, and it’s no wonder that students at St. Peter’s Catholic Secondary School in Barrie sometimes feel overwhelmed. Fortunately, the smart and wonderful classmates in Mrs Lemieux’s Grade 11 Leadership class had the fantastic idea to relieve stress this exam season, by calling up therapy dogs from St. John’s Ambulance for their fellow classmates, to pet and hug during their lunches before exams!

This isn’t the first time St. John’s therapy dogs have visited our school however it is always a joy to see them as they bring much needed relief during stressful study times. It is also wonderful to see students in action from the Grade 11 leadership class, as without their intervention, the dogs wouldn’t visit year after year. This year, Grade 11 student Shannon came up with the idea of the visiting therapy dogs as she fondly remembered how wonderful it was seeing them during exam time when she was in Grade 9.

Shannon discovered that getting the dogs to the school was easier than she thought it would be. “I thought it would be a good idea for everyone to relieve stress and get relaxed for exams… it wasn’t difficult, all I had to do was get permission and call St. John’s at the number listed on their website. After that, the only difficult part was finding the right time for them to come and visit!”

Since the therapy dogs were another big hit during exams, students at St. Peter’s can hopefully expect to see them again in June, when the second semester comes to a close.