CLARENVILLE, N.L. — Think about sitting at your desk in a cubicle at your place of work on a Monday morning and facing all the stresses that come with the work week ahead, when a surprise, cold-nosed visitor shows up.
And he’s super excited to see you.
St. John Ambulance therapy dog visits aren’t just for retirement homes and schools. Thanks to the initiative, offices are also included in visits from the trained pups.
In Clarenville, Sub-C Imaging has pledged to “sponsor” a local therapy dog, Will, and his owner Rhonda Parsons to come by to destress its employees from time to time.
Will is the only therapy dog in Clarenville participating in the program.
Andrea Rowe of Sub-C, who organized the sponsorship for the office, told The Packet they felt it was important to support a great cause like St. John Ambulance.
Once they told their staff, everyone was excited to meet Will.
On his first visit to Sub-C on Tuesday, May 8, Will and Rhonda went throughout the office and met all the different employees. Will received treats and pets from the staff of about 20.
“It’s so funny because the whole building is pretty much (filled with) men and they were all like, ‘When’s he coming? When’s he coming?’” laughs Rowe.
“It’s benefitting us as much as we hope we’re helping (St. John Ambulance).”
The initiative fits Sub-C’s mantra of “work hard, play hard” says Rowe. The newly occupied office is outfitted with ping pong tables and other ways for staff to decompress.
Roberta Hewitt of St. John Ambulance told The Packet the reasoning behind the sponsorship program was to take the benefits of therapy dogs from senior homes and hospitals and bring them to the workplace.
“What we’re seeing and the feedback we’ve gotten so far is that it absolutely works to relieve employee stress and to increase employee morale,” said Hewitt.
“It’s amazing to see how excited the staff of these organizations and companies are when the dog comes in.”
Hewitt adds that many individuals really look forward to the visits from the therapy dogs and actually go back to work feeling better.
“It’s absolutely amazing how it really does lift the spirits.”
She thanks Sub-C Imaging for their support. 100 per cent of the funds raised by the sponsorships go towards supporting the more than 300 St. John Ambulance community services volunteers throughout the province.