Ohio University Counseling and Psychological Services has a new therapy dog on campus.
Students will be able to find Penny, a 14-month-old Aussiedoodle, at Counselling and Psychological Services and at different campus events, Rinda Scoggan, counselor and training director said.
Penny was trained by Scoggan and has passed all her certification assessments necessary to be a therapy dog, including several temperament and behavioral tests, she said.
Penny is on staff with Dug, another CPS dog who was brought on in 2017.
The search for a new therapy dog began after Scoggan’s previous therapy dog, Buddy, retired from CPS and has since died.
During her search for a new therapy dog, Scoggan was primarily looking for a puppy that was at least half doodle to reduce allergies and shedding.
When Penny is on campus, she can be found at various locations with Scoggan, including at individual therapy sessions in CPS and stress relief activities in the library. Scoggan and Penny have been invited to plenty of different events on campus, she said.
“The library usually asks us to come during finals week and they do ‘De-stress with Dogs’ a couple of nights a week, so she’s available for activities on campus with students according to where we are invited to go to have a dog present,” Scoggan said.
Scoggan encourages students to pet Penny when they see her on campus.
“The good thing about a therapy dog is that they are trained to want everybody to pet them,” Scoggan said. “That’s kind of their job, to provide emotional support to everyone and anyone, so her job is to really gravitate toward anyone who wants to pet her.”
Brogan Kallmyer, a freshman studying sports management, has dogs at home and enjoys seeing the various dogs on campus.
“I personally have two dogs, and since coming here, I feel like I’ve seen a couple of service dogs around campus,” Kallmyer said. “It gives me a boost of energy for the day because it reminds me of home.”
Courtney Talbot, a senior studying French, appreciates the presence of dogs on campus.
“I think therapy dogs are great,” Talbot said. “I always enjoy seeing dogs around campus, no matter if they are service animals or people’s pets.”
Scoggan thinks it’s great that students are able to have access to therapy dogs like Penny on campus, she said.
“Sometimes I’ll be walking in the hallway … and a student will just come up and hug her and say ‘I just so needed to hug a dog today, I miss mine so much,’” Scoggan said. “Just being able to sit and pet [Penny] because she is so friendly and so gentle, it gives people a sense of peace.”