Puppies help students settle in to university lifeMonday 24 October 2016
Labradoodle puppies from Merseyside Dogs Home visited Liverpool Hope University to help new students settle into university life.
The puppies were invited to Liverpool Hope as part of the university’s Mental Health and Well-being Week activities.
The sessions gave students the chance to relax and take time out from their studies, while helping prepare the puppies for their roles as assistance dogs.
Josie Davies, Mental Health and Well-being Adviser at Liverpool Hope University said: “We invited Merseyside Dogs Home along as part of our wider Mental Health and Well-being Week activities, with the main aim of helping students to settle in to university life. Staff and students were invited to spend time with the three puppies, to cuddle to their heart's content, while they learned all about the inspiring work of Merseyside Dogs Home.
“While staff and students got a lesson in de-stressing, the puppies also benefited from socializing practice - an essential part of their preparation for assistance dog training. The event was very popular and we will be inviting Merseyside Dogs Home back at exam time and during next year’s mental health awareness events.”
Liverpool Hope student Olly Crawford said: "Moving away from home for university makes me miss my dog from home, which consequently makes me homesick. So being able to see the dogs was a great experience to have."
Emma Logan, from Merseyside Dogs Home said: “We would like to thank everyone at Liverpool Hope University for allowing us to visit with our dogs as part of World Mental Health Day. This was a great chance to be able to show how dogs can be great companion pets and have a fantastic therapeutic and relaxing nature. It was also fantastic socialisation for our young Labradoodle puppies, who will go on to become assistance dogs next year helping those with disability needs. They met hundreds of students and were fast asleep by the end of the day!
“Merseyside Dogs Home works hard to help people through our pets as therapy programme with local homeless charities as well as adults and young people with autism and learning difficulties. The programme is our way of bringing people and dogs together for the benefit of the dog, individuals and the community. We recognise the importance and benefits of human-dog interaction. We hope that these puppies will go on to help people and much like the students we met, we believe they have a bright future ahead of them!”