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Triton News

Therapy Dogs Bring Smiles to Campus

    by Emilie Jenson, Public Information Office
    Posted on 3/8/2024

A pair of special guests stop by the Student Resource Center every Thursday afternoon, and their company has proven to be quite popular.

These visitors aren’t your ordinary guests, they’re dogs.

Nico, a 10-year-old retired show dog golden retriever and his “grand puppy,” 6-month-old Truffle, stopped by on a recent afternoon, along with their human, Beth Collins, Science Department coordinator at Iowa Central.

The pair are one half of a family of four related golden retrievers who take their turns visiting campus and bringing smiles to the faces of students and staff who stop by. Darwin and Hatter have also made campus visits.

Therapy dogs have been brought in to provide stress relief during finals in past years, which Collins said was so well received that this year it has become a regular event.

“We’ve brought in dogs at finals time for years and the hope was that we could expand on that,” said Collins. “So far the student feedback has been very positive.”

Arianna Sousarek, a sophomore photography student, stops by regularly when the dogs visit and has befriended Nico.

“I try to come every time,” she said. “I’ve been visiting them for two months; I think Nico knows me now.”

Princess Altsisi stopped to visit the dogs for the first time Thursday.

“When I heard there were dogs, I knew I had to stop by,” she said.

The dogs walked around the SRC with students and greeted anyone passing through as they came up the stairs.

Anna Sondall had just finished a snack and Nico brought laughs for those gathered when he decided to help himself to what was left in the bowl. Sondall didn’t seem to mind. With a smile, she sat down and gave him a few pats as he laid his head in her lap.

“This makes the best day ever,” Sondall said.

The dogs are on campus Thursdays from 3-4 p.m. in the SRC.


Therapy Dogs Bring Smiles to Campus

I chose Iowa Central because I loved the campus environment. Everyone was so welcoming. The softball team made it feel like a home away from home.

Mikhaela Muir
Physical Therapy
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