by MAGGIE SPAETH '22
There is no doubt that by now you have noticed our new furry friend on campus. With his red vest and blonde curly fur, Angelo's presence has brought many smiles to the SUA students. This article will take a deeper dive into the world of Angelo and his impact on our community.
With the craziness of 2020, anxiety and stress has certainly been crowding our minds. Despite our many offered outlets, students can often feel nervous to speak on their problems with another human. Cue Angelo. The presence of a therapy dog provides not only a comfortable tummy to lie on, but also a floppy set of ears that can listen. Though it sounds silly, the ability to discuss our feelings with a loving furry friend without fear of him telling others provides a certain comfort and security while also being able to freely express yourself.
As an ES student, I’ve been blessed to have Angelo’s support in the classroom every other day. There is no question that his presence has drastically changed my experience here at SUA. I often get quite stressed throughout school and when it comes to taking tests my shaky hands and spinning head tend to get the best of me. Sometimes you just need to take a step back, focus, and relax. I find there is no better way to do so than to spend time with Angelo. He often stays in Mrs. Balz room where we are welcome to visit him during or after tests. Because of this, I have begun to view test taking as a less daunting experience, knowing that I have the support of Angelo by my side. But in order to get a better feel for his impact on the community, I sent out a short survey to the ES students.
Asking about the individual experiences my classmates have had with Angelo, I found not a single negative response. Many who complete their online classes on Wednesday in the ES division claim he provides loving motivation that assists them throughout the day. Many other girls have stated that his comforting presence has calmed many of them in their stressful situations, specifically with the anxieties induced by tests and quizzes that many of us face, a furry outlet is just what we need. He distracts from bad days and lightens our perspective on the situation at hand.
When Angelo is not leisurely wandering around ES, he spends his time in the counseling department. Here he rotates from room to room, providing an extra source of comfort to those seeking counseling. Angelo also goes on widespread walks around campus, occasionally stepping into different classrooms. The morale of the students he visits is evidently uplifted and he clearly makes their day a little bit better.
Overall, the new four legged, furry friend at SUA has warmed the hearts of many struggling students in the ES department as well as many other students and kept our school’s spirits high during this troubling year. I’m sure we all look forward to the years to come with Angelo by our side!