By Hayden Choate
On Monday, Sept. 20 during common hour, Springfield College was host to a group of furry friends. The annual “Dog Day” was back on campus as students, faculty and members of the college community could take a break from their day and meet some dogs.
The event was put on by campus recreation and was back this year after not taking place last year due to COVID-19.
Diana Curtis, the Fitness and Wellness graduate assistant for campus recreation helped the event take place again this year.
“We used to do Dog Day pretty much every year until obviously COVID happened and then this year we wanted to renew it so we decided to have it purely as an outdoor event,” Curtis said.
Along with the dogs, campus recreation brought an ice cream truck on campus to give people a nice break from their potentially stressful day.
“It’s just a way to help people’s mental health especially at the beginning of the year when it can feel very overwhelming,” Curtis said.
The dogs were brought to campus by a group called Bright Spot Therapy Dogs Inc. a non-profit organization founded in 2004 in which volunteers bring their therapy dogs to different places.
Bright Spot’s mission statement is “dedicated to placing well trained certified therapy dog teams in meaningful programs that provide comfort and caring through the human-canine bond.”
This was the first event in the community that Bright Spot was able to be a part of since the COVID-19 Pandemic began.
Brian Schick and his 6-year old golden retriever and cocker spaniel mix, Jeeves, were happy to greet members of the Springfield College community Monday afternoon.
“I enjoy coming,” Schick said. “We go here, we go to Baypath, we go up to Umass Amherst, it’s good.”
Colleges are not the only place the therapy dogs and their owners go to make people more relaxed and in a better mood.
“We go to a local elementary school for kids who have trouble reading they come and read to the dogs and then we go to Bradley Airport, they let us walk around the departure areas so people that are nervous about flying or kids that are bored stiff sitting in the lounge, they appreciate having dogs around,” Schick said.
Schick and Jeeves have been going to Bright Spot events for four years now and remember coming to Springfield College two years ago. Schick is excited and hopeful that this is the beginning of getting back to visiting the different places with Jeeves.
“We’ll be starting back at Bradley Airport next week,” Schick said. “Then the school where we used to go said they wanted to resume it, so we should be back to normal I think by next month.”
It was a beautiful day outside on Monday which led to a lot of people attending Dog Day.
In addition to Dog Day, campus recreation is also bringing back goat yoga which will also take place on Naismith Green during common hour on October 4th. Curtis was impressed with the overall turnout to Dog Day being one of the first events campus recreation has put on this semester.
“Obviously it’s being received very well,” Curtis said. “This is always one of our biggest events but I guess the biggest thing is we appreciate everyone coming and we appreciate them bringing the dogs for us.”