Students pet away stress with puppies

Derek Pockrandt, freshman in computer science, pets Lassy at English and Counseling Service's Pet Away Stress event on Aug. 26, 2015. (Cassandra Nguyen | The Collegian)

The first week of school can be stressful, from meeting new people, transitioning to a new place and making the dread change from a summer mentality to a school one.

Purple Power Animal Welfare Society and K-State Counseling Services worked together to bring puppies to campus as part of their “Pet Away Stress” event. The event began in the spring of 2013 and has been increasingly popular among students, according to Wendy Barnes, online programs and outreach coordinator for counseling services.

While trying to come up with a way to advertise the services available through counseling services, Barnes said she and her peers came up with the idea for Pet Away Stress.

“We came up with the idea of bringing dogs on campus and calling it ‘Pet Away Stress’,” Barnes said.

The event turned out to be such a success that Counseling Services decided to make it a yearly event.

“We did it again last fall, (it was) a bigger success, and again during midterms last spring.” Barnes said. “I think we had over 600 people that day.”

The success of the event has made “Pet Away Stress” so popular that the puppies will be brought to campus twice a semester. In the fall, the puppies will visit during the Week of Welcome and during midterms, while in the spring they will visit during midterm week and dead week.

Derek Pockrandt, freshman in computer science, said he heard about the event and couldn’t miss it.

“I love dogs so much. I had a dog before, but it passed away a couple years ago. I haven’t been able to get another one since,” Pockrandt said.

The event helps students who may be missing their pets back home. Julia Haile, sophomore in psychology, said she is studying abroad at K-State from Australia.

“I miss my dog back home,” Haile said. “I thought I’d come and pat some dogs.”

The event is not just about the people, though. The puppies have the opportunity to be adopted or fostered by students through Purple PAWS.

“If I could adopt them I would,” Pockrandt said. “I did hear about (fostering) but I haven’t been able to look into that because I’m not at a place that allows dogs.”

Students are able to volunteer for Purple PAWS and foster the puppies while still in school.

While Purple PAWS works to get the puppies adopted, the puppies lift student spirits during potentially stressful times.

“I’m not quite stressed but there is definitely more work,” Haile said. “It’s the third day of class and I already have assignments.”

While some students might be stressed and others may not be, the puppies definitely brightened people’s days.

“I’m not super stressed but this is great” Pockrandt said. “I would pay to do something like this everyday. I wish they would do it more often.”

My name is Jamie Teixeira and I am a senior English and journalism with a minor in Leadership. I am the president of Sigma Tau Delta International English Honor Society, a tutor at the K-State Writing Center,and a member of the K-State Tap Dance Ensemble. My future plans are to become an editor or publisher of children's literature. Outside of school I love to read and cuddle with my kitten, Bert.