Daisy, a two-year-old Labradoodle, is the newest ‘staff’ member at the West Virginia University College of Creative Arts.
As the college’s therapy dog, Daisy will be responsible for easing stress and providing a daily dose of happiness to everyone she greets.
“I’m fortunate in my role as the College of Creative Arts Recruiter in that I get to work with our amazing students across all three schools,” said James Froemel. “Being a college student comes with its own unique stresses, as does being an artist.”
After seeing a few other schools at WVU benefit from a therapy dog, Froemel started working with the College of Creative Arts administration to get the ball rolling.
Froemel reached out to Hearts of Gold, a nonprofit service dog training program in Morgantown. Some dogs who go through the Hearts of Gold program aren’t quite right to be a service dog, but have the right temperament for a therapy dog.
Daisy is a rescue dog who was taken in by Cheat Lake Veterinary Hospital. Cheat Lake works with the Hearts of Gold program and because of Daisy’s size, breed and temperament they thought she could be a good fit for hearts of gold and was gifted to the program.
“As Daisy was finishing her first class in the Hearts of Gold program, her trainers realized that her laid back attitude and her desire to be pet and to interact with all the people around her might make her a better fit for the WVU therapy dog program,” Froemel said. “Daisy and I were matched in April and I took the training class again with her over the summer.”
Daisy continues to take classes but has already passed her therapy dog certification. She has been visiting the Canady Creative Arts Center throughout the fall with Froemel.
“I think any outlet we can have for our students to decompress for a moment is beneficial,” said Froemel. “I try to take Daisy around the CAC a few times each day.
“She looks a little like a Muppet and it’s hard not to smile when you see her. One of the comments I hear the most from students when they are petting Daisy is, ‘I needed this today.’"
Daisy is on campus Monday, Wednesday and Friday with Froemel, their office is in the lobby of the Canady Creative Arts Center.