Sign In

Therapy dog sessions now online

April 6, 2020

Students having a ‘ruff’ time physical distancing can now tune into Carleton University’s therapy dog sessions via Instagram.

Shannon Noonan, creator of the therapy dog program, said she was trying to think of a way she could respond to students requesting virtual sessions once classes were officially relocated online.

“First I did a photo challenge for the handlers to try to sort of at least still be posting some content,” said Noonan.

However, the program’s main Instagram account was soon flooded with live video requests. “The more I started to realize, ‘Oh, this might be a long time, it might be a good idea to try something like this,’” said Noonan. “So, I began experimenting with a live session myself for the first time.”

Featuring her dalmatian named Elroy, Noonan said the first 15 minute-long session was successful, attracting approximately 150 viewers and an abundance of comments.

After the piloting session, Noonan reached out to her fellow handlers within the program and provided instructions on how they too could hold virtual sessions with their pups. She said approximately seven or eight of the handlers have expressed interest in doing so.

“For them, it’s validating and brings them back to having that experience with connecting with community members,” said Noonan. “So for us, it makes sense to share it with other people and the students especially.”

Allie Davidson, handler of therapy dog Murphy, said she decided to participate because she is concerned for students.

“I am aware that this is a stressful time for a lot of people and a lot of students might not be able to get home to loved ones,” said Davidson.

Register Your Dog

  • Most Recent News

    Firefighters battling California wildfires visited by Kerith the therapy dog

    Battling wildfires can take an emotional and physical toll on firefighters, but a two-year-old golden retriever has come to rescue, relieving stress and providing comfort to firefighters on the front lines. Kerith is a certified crisis response therapy animal through a nonprofit organization, Pet Partners. Kerith and her handler, Heidi Carman, started volunteering at MarinHealth […]

    Read more

    Big Dogs Need Owners

    When the shutdown orders took full effect, it became nearly impossible to find a small dog available for adoption as Southlanders sought furry companions. In many Southland shelters, only larger breeds remained available for adoption. Now Los Angeles Animal Service is touting the joys of big dogs while offering discounted adoption fees for larger breeds […]

    Read more

    Service Dog Walkathon

    On Saturday, October 3, hundreds of walkers from across 15 states joined the path to bettering the world for children with autism and their families as part of BluePath Service Dogs’ fourth annual walkathon. The family-friendly fundraiser – this year held virtually – raised more than $120,000 to further BluePath’s mission of providing autism service […]

    Read more

    Service Dog In The Marching Band

    In a year that is anything but normal, the Jones College Maroon Typhoon Marching Band has welcomed its first known service dog member this fall. Laurie, a 3-year-old golden retriever, is baritone saxophone player Sara-Beth McKellar’s service dog. The Vicksburg native was diagnosed with epilepsy as a sophomore in high school after her first seizure. […]

    Read more

    Church Blesses Animals

    St. Mary’s Church of the Immaculate Conception in Port Jervis hosted a special outdoor service last Sunday afternoon to bless the community’s pets, animals and other living creatures. In keeping with current pandemic rules, pet owners wore masks, remained distant, and took part in praying for dogs, cats, turtles, and other pets and animals around […]

    Read more

    Police Welcome New Canine

    After the unexpected passing of longtime Police Service Dog Zeus earlier this week, Kingston Police are welcoming a new member to the Canine Unit. Police Service Dog Bask, also known as K9-8, is a Dutch Shepherd and Belgium Malinois mix, and will be patrolling the streets of Kingston with his handler Constable Jeff Dickson. Bask […]

    Read more