Bright Spot Therapy Dogs have been busy these past few weeks.
First, we spent several hours at Mass Amherst on Wednesday, April 26th, then we were on the road again, heading to other colleges and universities in Massachusetts.
Thanks to our growing presence in the eastern part of the state, we’ve had Bright Spot Therapy Dogs at Boston University and Emerson College.
Just a couple of teams, but they were well-received, garnering all the attention and making the students very happy as they took much-needed breaks from studying for exams and writing final papers.
Locally, here in western Massachusetts, we’re able to gather our base and send out larger numbers of therapy dogs teams. Our volunteers enjoy these group therapy dog stress-relief events so much that some take a day off from work to attend. Some attend every one of the events scheduled.
Friday, May 5th, found us at Western New England University where the royal treatment was offered to our special therapy dogs coming to campus for the first time. As volunteers drove into campus, they were greeted by a Welcome Bright Spot Therapy Dogs sign. Arrows guided us to our parking area reserved especially for Bright Spot. The event location was a lovely, large carpeted room-perfect for the dogs so they weren’t slipping on the floor surface. A water bowl was placed next to each dog’s station, and handlers were given a liter of Smart Water. To add to this, in the end, each dog received a special gift packet of gourmet dog treats and the handlers each a Dunkin Donuts gift card. When I got home, not only was an email waiting for me in my inbox from the point person of the event thanking us for coming, but he asked to set up dates for the 2017-2018 academic year. In addition, emails from several volunteers came in telling me how much they they enjoyed the WNE event. Aside from the warm welcome and lots of adoring students stopping by to hang out with the dogs, several staff members spoke with me about the training process to get their own dogs certified through Bright Spot. They, too, followed up with emails to me. Days like this are so rewarding as the director of Bright Spot Therapy Dogs.
Monday, May 8th, found ten Bright Spot Therapy Dogs at the main undergraduate campus of Bay Path University in Longmeadow and three Bright Spots at the graduate campus in East Longmeadow.
We have been heading to Bay Path for several years now during final exams. Many of the students come looking for their special dogs they’ve come to know through their entire time at the University. Bay Path has a beautiful campus tucked in along the lovely tree-lined main street running through the town. New this year is going to the graduate campus where the students are so appreciative to have the dogs come there, too.
Bright Spot is now done with university and college events for this year, and has pretty much scheduled all schools on our Community Outreach Calendar for the next academic year.
Sadly, we can only accommodate a few schools each semester, since the demand is clustered around exams. Occasionally, a college or university will make a request for an off-peak time, and we’re happy to add them to our calendar, when possible.