Woof the therapy dog is back serving students of Okanagan College’s Salmon Arm campus. (Okanagan College photo)

Woof the therapy dog eases angst at Salmon Arm Okanagan College campus

After being adopted by the college’s librarian, dog showed knack for companionship

A furry friend is back for a second year helping Okanagan College Students through her role as the campus therapy dog.

The 107 lb canine with the piercing blue eyes and long white fur is named Woof.

Woof became the therapy dog for the college’s Salmon Arm campus after being adopted by Taryn Schmid the librarian. Soon after adopting her, Schmid found that Woof is completely deaf and suffers from seizures; also immediately clear was the close bond the dog forms with people. This love led Schmid to get Woof certified as a therapy dog through St. John’s Ambulance.

In the fall of 2018, Schmid began slowly introducing Woof to the campus, taking careful consideration that not everyone in the community is a dog lover.

Read More: Candidates tackle climate change, immigration and housing at Salmon Arm forum

Read More: Search suspended for missing Kelowna hunter, 74, after exhausting all options

“I had concerns for people who aren’t into dogs,” Schmid said.

According to Okanagan College staff, members of the college community responded well to Schmid walking Woof around campus, and the conversations the dog initiated solidified her role as a therapy animal.

“It’s surprising how a dog opens the door for a variety of conversations,” Schmid said. “Everything from bullying to anxiety issues, to the enjoyment and love of pets.”

After no concerns arose with Woof’s presence during the fall semester, Schmid started bringing the dog into the library; students are able to book time with Woof so she can do what she does best, offer comfort through her gentle nature.

Read More: Five semi-trailer loads of clothing head overseas from Salmon Arm thrift store

Read More: Seven people who responded to shooting at Salmon Arm church to receive bravery awards

“She is extremely well-trained,” Caroline Chartier, Aboriginal Transitions Planner on the Salmon Arm campus said of the dog. “She has an innate ability to visit just the right person. Nearly every day it seems we have someone coming to look for her.”

“There’s also been a noticeable increase in students with anxiety issues over the last few years and Woof makes a difference for these students,” Schmid added.

Schmid said she anticipates an increase in visits with Woof and wants everyone at the college to know the dog is on hand for cuddly companionship this fall.


@SalmonArm
jim.elliot@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Vernon player wins ATP tour event, named to Davis Cup squad

Vasek Pospisil joins Raonic, Shapovalov and Auger-Aliassime in representing Canada

Snow falls at SilverStar Mountain Resort

Ski season just around the corner

Vernon up for advanced gas meters project

FortisBC to host information session for Vernon customers Wednesday

Spallumcheen administrator earns provincial coaching gig

Doug Allin will be head coach for Team BC men’s softball team at 2021 Canada Games in Ontarior

No outdoor rink for old Vernon Civic Arena site

The idea of putting in a temporary outdoor rink on 37th Avenue for 2019-20 is cost prohibitive

Climate activist Greta Thunberg’s mural defaced in Edmonton

The eyes on the portrait were blacked out

LETTER: Middle class better off with Trudeau’s child benefit boost

It’s a transfer, not a tax cut, but it helps families get ahead

Report suggests new BC Ferries terminal near YVR

Metro Vancouver currently has two ferry terminals at northern and southern reaches

B.C. scouting group’s tent destroyed by black bear on Thanksgiving

The Richmond-based Sea Dragon Sea Scouts were camping at Mount Seymour Provincial Park

Morning Start: Today is the last day to cast a vote in the federal election

Your morning start for Monday, October 21st, 2019

Summerland council agrees to 30-year lease with steam railway

Tourist train has been operating as an attraction in Summerland since 1995

Speeding a concern on Summerland streets

Police observe fast motorists in town and on Highway 97

Most Read