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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Osoyoos knife-wielding woman wins appeal to reduce sentence

Court of Appeal settled that the sentencing judge erred in principle, and the sentence was unfit

FortisBC offers 90-day bill deferrals to customers impacted by COVID-19

Customers can apply for the relief program through the utility’s website

Online marketplace for downtown Penticton businesses an opportunity to support local

Marketplace will help support local businesses and assist customers in finding goods and services

RCMP pursuit in Okanagan Falls leads to arrest of Penticton man

Seamus Kirby of Penticton is facing numerous charges including flight from police

North Okanagan bands together in support against COVID-19

New group launches website with tools to help endure crisis

WATCH: Salmon Arm artist hosts virtual art show amid COVID-19

Roxi Hermsen’s show “Into the Cosmos” is a tribute to her father Bill Sim

HERGOTT: COVID-19 and ICBC

Paul Hergott is a personal injury lawyer based in West Kelowna

COVID-19: Armstrong gym fined $345 after failure to close

The fitness centre was issued a ticket a day after province ordered all gyms to close

Bus rider who travelled to Golden tests positive for COVID-19

The passenger travelled from Calgary to Golden on March 15

Armed robbery of legal grow-op in Sicamous ends in arrest near Enderby

Residents alarmed over increased police presence Tuesday morning

Wildfire burns out-of-control on Adams Lake band land in the Shuswap

BC Wildfire Service reports Shuswap two-hectare fire is not threatening structures

COVID-19: Vernon homeless shelters combine in curling club

Gateway and Our Place shelter sites housed under one roof amid pandemic

COVID-19: Don’t get away for Easter weekend, Dr. Bonnie Henry warns

John Horgan, Adrian Dix call 130 faith leaders as holidays approach

COVID-19: Trudeau says 30K ventilators on the way; 3.6M Canadians claim benefits

Canada has seen more than 17,000 cases and at least 345 deaths due to COVID-19

Most Read