Monday, December 9, 2013

Pet Partners Program: Wellness & Sustainability

Students Rachel & Kari visit with Jigi

I have written before about "wellness" and sustainability, and it should come as no surprise that the human health & well-being aspect of sustainability is of huge importance to me. As I have said before, wellness and sustainability are intrinsically connected, and the better we feel, the better everything is in our lives, including our work and our relationships. With that in mind, I wanted to remind you that Western Libraries is lucky to have four more days of visits from the Pet Partners program, here to help the Western community "de-stress" during Finals Week.

Student Sarah with Henry

Whatcom Therapy Dogs and Pet Partners have generously teamed up with Western Libraries to participate in campus visits during both the week of and preceding Finals Week, and they are located in the library in the gallery space at the north end of the Skybridge between the hours of 10:00 am and 8:00 pm, from now through Dec. 12 (with the last visit that day ending at 4:00 pm). According to a recent article in The Bellingham Herald that discussed the benefits of Pet Partner programs for seniors, research shows that contact with animals can reduce stress levels, lower blood pressure, and ward off depression.

Willey & Friends

When I worked at the Circulation Desk here in the library, I was definitely a fan of this program, and I  appreciated the excitement of our students when the Pet Partners came to visit, but in my new role of Library Communications Program Coordinator, I have really had the pleasure of getting to spend more time witnessing first-hand the positive effects this program has on our students and the Western community. I hope you will get a chance to come over for a quick visit to relax for a moment and say hello! Believe me, if you are having a stressful day, nothing will put a smile on your face and make you feel better faster than contact with these amazing animals (and their very kind and generous human partners!)

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