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Phinney’s helped BU students heal – check our video!

May 3, 2013
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Phinney’s volunteer Jewel (left) with her dog Emma and students.

A dog-loving Phinney’s Friends team of volunteers drove into Boston last Monday, April 29th, with 4 cute dogs in the car. We were not planning on visiting low-income families or any sick pets. We were visiting college students stressed out with finals. We had been invited to participate on the event “Dog Bones Therapy at School of Management Boston University” in order to help students decompress, and of course we took the opportunity to talk to everyone about Phinney’s and recruit students to join us.

My dog Lola, shedding like crazy, loving to be petted by a student.

My dog Lola, shedding like crazy, loving to be petted by a student.

For two hours straight, our Vice-president, Starr, our longtime volunteer Jewel Gilbert and I talked to the kids about our dogs and Phinney’s, while they hugged and petted our dogs. Every ten minutes, 30 new students would invade the room, eager to touch the pooches they liked the most. To their delight, they came in all colors, shapes and sizes. I took with me my gentle giant — Lola the Saint Bernard. Starr brought along her happy-go-lucky dogs, Gem and Tristan, who are pros: they are registered therapy Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. And Jewel brought her super sweet girl, Emma, a certified therapy Goldendoodle who is also Lola’s best friend.

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Gem and Tristan, Vice-president Starr Maxwell’s therapy dogs, with the reporter who made the video.

The other 5 dogs from Dog B.O.N.E.S., a nonprofit that recruits and manages therapy dog teams and generously invited us to this event, brought even more variety to the room — a black mutt, a small toy Poodle, a Golden retriever, a Lab and a mini Doodle.

Take a look at this video:


Our afternoon at BU was  intense and fun, especially for Lola and me, who have never done therapy dog work before. She’s a bit shy but she loves to cuddle with people. So after a while she realized the throng of happy students were there to make her only wish come true — pet her non-stop. :-)

We enjoyed so much visiting the BU students for 2 hours straight — nearly 400 of them waited in line for their 10-minute turn to hug, kiss and pet the dogs. Now do the math: spring + Saint Bernard + lots of petting. Fur balls were flying all over. At the end of the event, we could have made a sweater out of Lola’s shedding. (I’m not sure if they will ever invite us again. :-P )

We had fun chatting with like-minded people and bringing joy to the students during such stressful times. On top of the pressure of finals, we were all still shaken by the bombings in Boston and manhunt in Watertown. So we mingled, relaxed and forgot about everything else for a while. It was just us and the dogs.

Check all the pictures here! 


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