Students at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln admit that classes in November can get a little, well, ruff.
This is what led The Daily Nebraskan and Big Red Resilience and Wellbeing to host “Pet the Stress Away” on Nov. 15.
The event included six licensed therapy dogs from Domesti-PUPS walking around the Union Plaza for students to pet and relax with.
Some students like Kori Kowalewski, a sophomore elementary education and early childhood education major, only stayed to pet the dogs for a couple of moments.
Others like Sara Segal, a freshman business management major, planned to stay for the duration of the event.
Segal doesn’t have a dog at home but loved getting to see and pet the dogs at the Union.
“This is as close as I get,” she said.
She said she loved the event and thought it was important for students to be able to destress.
Kowalewski agreed that the event was well-timed and that it made her Friday better.
“School is stressful so it’s awesome of them to bring dogs and let you pet them,” she said. “It’s cool because you don’t get dogs on campus.”
These are not just any dogs, though. Michelle Brekke explained how she and her dog Tango got to be where they are now.
Tango is a half-pit bull and half-rottweiler mix who has been through his difficulties. He lived in a home with domestic abuse and was then given to Adopt-A-Pet, where he lived by six months.
Brekke said she had been volunteering with the no-kill shelter and knew Tango needed a home. When she convinced her husband and then took Tango through obedience school, the instructor recommended Tango become a therapy pet.
Now, Tango goes to work with Brekke as a para at an elementary school.
“We just bring his bed he reads with kids,” she said. “And he just knows who needs more help.”
Brekke said she loves bringing Tango out to events like “Pet the Stress Away” for many reasons, but knows the students enjoy it even more.
“I know how isolating, stressful and everything that school can be for these kids,” she said. “If it just brings a little joy to them for five minutes, that’s good.”