Monday, February 13, 2017

Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

Maggie and I returned to PCOM this past week. Many of the 2nd year students recognized Maggie from our visit last year and the first year students were thrilled to meet her. Since it was such a warm day (the temperature gauge on my car read 64 degrees) we decided to meet outside. For February this was most unusual but such a treat! The students loved the chance to get some fresh air and Maggie and I enjoyed it as well.
Getting ready for finals is never easy and spending time with these hard working students was such a pleasure.
I did my best to avoid questions about their studies as I felt the best way for these students to decompress is to talk “dog.” Many of them chose to dive in and “attack” Maggie with lots of love-which Maggie just can’t seem to get enough of. When the students came up for air the questions start.
What kind of dog is she?     Goldendoodle
How old is she? 7
Does she shed? No
Is she your only dog? Yes
How often do you go out on therapy visits? Generally once a week but sometimes twice
How did you get into this type of work?  I was in the hospital myself and visited by a therapy dog and felt the positive benefits from it. I always promised myself that if I were ever in the position to give back I would.
When they finished asking me their questions I turned the tables and asked if they had dogs back home. A few answered yes and told me the breed and how old they were. One girl told me she had just lost her family dog to old age. I told her how sorry I was but she said she was really ok since her dog had led a good life.
 I notice in all the college visits there always seem to be one or two students that linger a bit longer than the rest. On this visit a young man hung around longer than most. He told me he is a first year student and he kept saying he wanted a dog of his own as he had grown up with dogs and missed them, He knew he could manage a dog for his first and second year of school but by the time his third year came and his rotations started he knew it wouldn’t be fair to the dog. I sat there and listened to him debate this I felt he didn’t need me to comment on his thoughts- he just needed someone to listen to him. He thanked me for bringing Maggie- a nice polite and sensible young man.
Some faculty members also came outside to visit Maggie. Always nice to see them take advantage of us being there. Maggie is happy to get love from them as well.
It was a great session and hopefully we helped destress everyone so they can focus on their exams in the coming weeks.

We look forward to going back next semester.

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