By: Emily Olsen
There is a new dog on campus and her name is Lucy. As the younger sister of NAIT’s official therapy dog, Flynn, Lucy is currently in training to join the family business.
Lucy is a three month old Australian Labradoodle with a playful personality and a love for cuddles.
Linda Shaw, NAIT’s Student well-being facilitator, is “dog-mom” to both Flynn and Lucy and has been working hard to make sure Lucy is in top shape as she trains to become a therapy dog for the campus.
“I’m trying to teach her to sit when people greet her, it’s never too soon to practice that,” said Shaw. “Flynn sometimes is a bit overwhelmed with the amount of work that he could potentially do and as he gets older, he probably will have to decrease what he does.”
Shaw says having a second dog on campus is extremely beneficial to both Flynn and the campus. As a wellbeing facilitator, Shaw has noticed the benefit for students seeking help with the counselling services at NAIT.
“I find that having the Paws for a Break program gives the students an opportunity to connect a face with the services of student counselling,” said Shaw.
Students gushed about how much better they felt after looking at her, playing with her or even just giving her a scratch. Lucy walked through the halls after a check up with the NAIT veterinary program as staff and students smiled as she passed. Even the janitorial staff hopped off of his floor polishing machine and rushed over to give her a scratch.
Shaw is looking forward to seeing Lucy and Flynn join forces to change students’ lives one paw-shake at a time.
“I do see sometimes the same students coming and making appointments or they’re bringing their friends in…. it opens the door for students to feel more comfortable,” said Shaw.