De-Stress Fest huge hit among MSU Denver students during midterms


Posted Thu, Mar 9, 2017

PET PARTNERS: Ken Majeski, with Denver Pet Partners, says dogs such as Cooper relaxes people and makes then feel better. [Photo: Matt Miller]

Papers and Puppies
By Matt Miller
DENVER, Auraria Campus – Stressed about mid-terms?
Pet a puppy.
That’s the idea anyway.
MSU-Denver’s Student Academic Success Center teamed up with Denver Pet Partners on March 9, to bring a few dogs down to campus to help students relax a little during midterms — a stressful time in the semester.

Denver Pet Partners takes their furry friends to different locations such as hospitals, nursing homes and schools to bring some positivity into their day.

“It relaxes people, it makes them feel good,” says Ken Majeski, with Denver Pet Partners. Majeski looks over one of the organization’s dogs, Cooper, a rescue dog that they got when he was seven. The dogs are partnered with a caretaker and both learn how to be therapeutic to those in need.

R-E-L-A-X: Oma, a golden retriever mix, enjoys a tummy rub. [Photo: Matt Miller]

The Student Academic Success Center tries to boost the morale of students with events like this, about once a month. They vary from scholarship workshops, note taking and de-stressing with different techniques. This is the first time they have had dogs aboard though.

“It’s a chance for a few minutes in a day to pet an animal, and just take a break,” says Lauren Koppel, a coordinator with the Student Academic Success Center. The event seems to be a success. “I’ve heard a number of students, and staff say, best day ever, this made my day.”

Pet Partners Puppy Paradise
By Mayra Cabrera

DENVER, Auraria Campus – Puppies! Puppies! Puppies!

POCKET POOCH: Ollie, a Brussels Griffon, is trained to bring happy feelings to people. [Photo: Mayra Cabrera]

What a great day to be alive!

Denver Pet Partners had an adorable dog show right in Auraria Campus Student Success Building. Dogs of all shapes and sizes gathered to come spread some joy on this exhausting and hot day.

Denver Pet Partners participates spreading the love on many different campuses all over Denver. They are trained to distress and bring nothing, but happy feelings to people who need it most.

“These dogs also volunteer in many hospitals,” said Erika Simo, secretary of Denver Pet Partners.

This is the first time Denver Pet Partners have been at Metropolitan State University and they are here visiting to help students relax before midterms.

As Julie Schwarz, Ollie the Brussels Griffon’s handler said, dog therapy has been very successful, but different schools do different kinds of therapies. Examples like acupuncture, massages and even art projects.

The Partners constantly mentioned that the dogs are not service dogs, they are therapy dogs whose purpose in life is to love only.

PAWSOME PUP: Therapy dog Oma, helps students ease the stress of midterms. [Photo: Emily Moyer]

De-Stress Fest Huge Hit Among Students During Midterms on MSU Denver Campus
By Emily Moyer

DENVER, Auraria Campus – MSU Denver students got out of their stressful midterms this week by being pleasantly surprised to see some furry faces among the usual crowded halls. Visitors from Denver Pet Partners teamed up with MSU Denver’s First Year Success to help students feel less stressed while they take their exams and turn in projects by offering up some sweet, soft, belly rubs!

Students were invited to pet some friendly pooches that were located upstairs in the Student Success Building of the Auraria Campus. These therapy dogs, Oma the golden retriever mix, Puck the white golden retriever, and Ollie the Brussles Griffon have one job and one job only-to give and receive love.

Oma, the golden retriever mix, was enjoying some belly rubs from students in the upstairs reception area after a few classes let out for exams. Student’s faces lit up with merriment! Oma is 9-years-old and has been working as a therapy dog since she was rescued from a Denver shelter.

Owning and certifying a therapy dog is much different from owning and certifying a service dog, says Carol Peahrson,  Oma’s owner.

“A service dog has a very specific job,” says Pearhson, “and to pet a service dog would be interrupting him or her from doing their job. A therapy dog’s job however, is to be pet all day long.”

Carol is extremely passionate about Oma as a therapy dog, and Oma’s excitement equally matches that of her owner. As students came and left to give Oma pets on her belly, Carol would say, “it’s kind of shameless,” how Oma gives and reciprocates unconditional love to help students de-stress during exams week.

CHEESE: Mild-mannered Puck, a white golden retriever, is trained at de-stressing people. [Photo: Montana Martin]

Pencils Down, Paws Up
By Montana Martin

DENVER, Auraria Campus – Denver Pet Partners brought in some four-legged friends to help de-stress MSU students surrounding midterms March 9, at the MSU Student Success Building.

There were four therapy dogs in attendance at today’s event, and all gathered many needed smiles from the passers-by. Ollie, the 4-year-old short haired Brussels Griffon, perched on his handler’s lap, was ready for his close-up.

“He’s a reality show dog,” says Ollie’s handler, Julie Schwarz.

Ollie “Jingle” Schwarz was featured on Animal Planet’s “Too Cute: Holiday Special” when he was just two weeks old. The ranch where Ollie was born is owned by Glamour Griffons, just east of Los Angeles. Also known as “Grumpy

READY FOR MY CLOSE UP: Animal Planet star Brussels Griffon, Ollie, poses for photos with fans. [Photo: Montana Martin]

Humphrey” to his fans, the runt of the litter was initially a hard sell. He now serves the Partners proudly throughout the Denver area.

Schwarz went on to explain the process of Ollie’s training to become a therapy dog when he was 2-years-old, including a mastery of basic commands. But it wasn’t just training on the dog’s end. Schwarz had to attend an entire day training session herself, learning things like germ control for their visits to hospitals and nursing homes.

“We call each other our partners. He’s my dog partner,” Schwarz says.

Be sure to visit to see upcoming events featuring the therapy animals of the nonprofit organization.

HOUSE CALLS: Denver Pet Partner’s Erika Simon and her golden retriever Puck visit nursing homes and hospitals throughout the week offering solace to patients. [Photo: Aaron Germani] 

Furry Stress Relievers on Metro’s Campus
By Aaron Germani

DENVER — Stressed Metro students were happily surprised on March 9,  as the Denver Pet Partners organization brought therapy dogs to give everyone a break from midterms.

The event was held on the second level of the Student Success building on Auraria campus. All students were welcome to come up and be with the dogs for as long as they wanted.

The dogs are trained specifically for events like this, where they take the spotlight by providing people with a friendly face and a belly to rub. The purpose is to bring joy to people who are going through a rough time in their lives. From preparing for midterms in college or fighting for your life in a hospital bed, these dogs are meant to give people a break from their normal lives and give them a reason to forget about everything and smile.

The dogs do different events in many different settings. “They do events like this one, and visit nursing homes, hospitals and hospices,” said dog partner Julie Schwarz. She was there with her dog Ollie, a brussels griffon.

SPREADING JOY: Julie Schwarz and Ollie enjoy events that bring joy to people. [Photo: Aaron Germani]

Schwarz loves bringing Ollie to events like this because she loves to see the joy that her dog can bring to other people.

Likewise, secretary on the board of directors of Denver Pet Partners Erika Simon, brought in her golden retriever, named Puck. Simon and her dog partner have been with the organization for 5-years now and love being a part of it.

“I volunteer with Pet Partners about five hours a week,” Simon said. Simon and Puck normally visit the Swedish Medical Center throughout the week to surprise some of the patients with a little bit of puppy love.

In this case, Ollie, Puck and some of their furry friends were on campus to give students a break from cramming for midterms and seemed to be doing a good job of it. Students from all around were stopping by to meet with the dogs and give them a nice scratch behind the ear.

The therapy dogs put smiles on all the student’s faces and provided everyone with the mental break they needed in order to continue effectively studying. These working dogs did their job, and were greatly appreciated for it.

2 Responses to “De-Stress Fest huge hit among MSU Denver students during midterms”

  1. Stephanie Says:

    Enjoyed learning about the joy these animals bring to people. Its nice to just take a minute and have a sweet friend to share it with to get you through the day. Good stories. Very uplifting.


  2. Mayra Says:

    Awesome stories! Loved the pictures, they go really well with each and every story. It made my day!


Leave a Reply