Therapy dogs support OHS students before finals


Aerda Roddan

A loving dog provides support to students at OHS.

As finals week approaches, exams loom, and stress mounts. Olympia High School has brought in several guests to help students out. Specifically, several therapy dogs from Cascade Service Dogs are meant to help students deal with stress before their finals.

As OHS transitions from the first semester into the second semester, many classes are taking finals to wrap up the semester. This means that students may have finals in all 6 of their classes. For students, this can be very stressful. Schools have been searching for solutions to the stress, and now OHS is trying something new: therapy dogs.

On Monday, January 30th, Students were surprised to find several dogs waiting in the lunchroom. These dogs are professionally trained by Cascade Service Dogs, a registered 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to training service dogs for those in need. Needless to say, they are very good at their jobs. These dogs have gone around to many schools to support students, and now they are here at OHS to help students with stress before finals.

Of course, the dogs don’t work alone. Each dog has a partner in the form of a handler working with Cascade Service Dogs. One of the handlers, David, brought Bota to support OHS students. When asked about what brought them to OHS, David said they were asked to show up and help students by the school administration.

For the most part, students seem to be on board with the idea with lots of students visiting the service dogs. One of those students is Cassandra Pixley who says, “I loved the therapy dogs, especially the poodle.” But some students were skeptical if the dogs were actually helping with finals stress. Junior Neta Keren said, “They’re cute, not sure how much they help.” No matter the verdict, the dogs were welcomed guests as students prepared for their finals.