On November 9th, 2022, Leonia High School held a small event called “Relaxing With Dogs”. In the little theater during early and late lunch, students were allowed to sign up for a spot to interact with dogs brought in to help them destress.
Many students signed up to enjoy this experience on “Destress With Dogs” day, as students were looking forward to it for a while. There have been many tests done to prove that not only dogs, but owning any animal can be a good form of a destresser. Having a companion brings people comfort and it can allow them to cope with their stress in a healthy way. Freshman Anna Kim was interviewed and was asked “Do you think animals can help destress?”. Anna answered with “Yeah, I think it’s really helpful. Just seeing dogs helps me forget about the stress I have.” Ms. Wilson, a counselor at the high school, was also asked this and answered similarly. Both Anna and Ms.Wilson were asked how they both destress. Anna said she likes to go on walks and hangout with friends. Ms. Wilson has a dog herself, and she said she likes to bake and go to the gym to help her destress. Ms. Wilson was asked why she thinks having healthy coping mechanisms is important, and she explained that having healthy coping mechanisms are vital to coping with stress because they can help regulate your other emotions and allows you to go through life more smoothly. Making sure to find good ways to regulate and cope with your emotions can not only be beneficial to yourself, but also to the people around you too.
I myself have a cat who helps me deal with my stress when I’m at home. Her name is Charlotte and I have had her for a little over 6 years now. I believe that animals do help tremendously with supporting humans during rough times, and being present during the good times too. This is why the school brings in the dogs for the students who feel like they could help them destress. Though it is a small gesture, it makes a great impact on the students especially because some do not have access to a pet at home.