Students enjoy benefits of therapy dogs

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On Thursday, Dec. 13, Mimi Lutwak helped to bring a new form of therapy to VHHS: therapy dogs.

Lutwak has been affiliated with these furry friends for a long time, and she decided to spread the unconditional love the dogs give to all students. Ms. Dillon, SAP coordinator, organized the event.

“My goal was to give students a little break from studying for finals and give [them] all a place to unwind a little during a very busy, stressful week,” Ms. Dillon said

Throughout the time Lutwak has brought her dogs to the school, she’s witnessed the students’ emotions toward the dogs.

“I’ve seen people cry from being so relieved from their stress,” Lutwak said

According to Lutwak , studies have shown being in the presence of dogs lowers blood pressure. The lowering of blood pressure benefits people by reducing the risk of heart problems and stroke, improving vision and boosting kidney health.These benefits produce healthy lifestyles, and relieve the stress built up from a hard week at school.

“I saw the dogs in the hallway, and it immediately put a smile on my face,” Lily Blase (11) said.

As a doctor, Lutwak knows how important these puppy play dates are to students’ health. She mixes her two passions, dogs and health, and brings them to our school.

“It’s not a job, nor a hobby; it’s a calling,” Lutwak said.

Lutwak’s dogs are allowed into the school because they are certified therapy dogs.

There are many steps to becoming a certified therapy dog, including being tested for basic manners, demeanor and handling skills. The dogs are observed during three visits with residents of medical facilities. Upon completion of these tasks, the dog is certified.

The overwhelming amount of love that dogs give to people grants students the opportunity to relax and have fun.

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