Morehead State students de-stressed with furry friends on the third floor of ADUC last Friday.

Lydia Njoroge’s marketing class brought MSU’s counseling, vet tech and nursing programs together to break up the stress of the day for students with service and therapy dogs.

“The purpose was to help students de-stress. There’s so much stuff going on with [students] and not enough to help them get back to a neutral mental state so they can focus on their actual academics,” said Njoroge, a professor of marketing at MSU.

The event brought in dogs from several different organizations.

“If your eyes could see what my eyes have seen, you’d know why I do this. There’s no words to describe. It’s the smiles and joy you see on someone’s face when you work with people,” said Rhonda Sims, a nursing educator who brings her therapy dog, Koda, to hospitals and organizations regularly.

Bonding with the dogs helped students to cope with stress and enjoy a part of their day.

“The whole point is that we don’t care who you belong to or what major you are, we care about you and want you to succeed,” said Njoroge.

The event was a success as nearly 200 people showing up to pet the dogs.

“We ran out of signup sheets. It went much better than I thought. The whole point of anything in marketing is there’s gaps. There’s things that happen, and it’s a learning experience,” said Njoroge.

Njoroge's marketing class joined efforts with counseling and vet tech classes earlier this semester to create this time for students to decompress with dogs.

“Seeing how pervasive this was throughout all of the departments [was my favorite],” said Njoroge. “So many people made this happen so that our students know we care about them.”

Watching the students smile and de-stress was inspiring to those involved.

“[I loved] seeing the smiles and the relief and lightened stress, especially in young people because there’s so many challenges today,” said Sims.

The event was likely not a one-time thing.

“My goal is to do this in the future,” said Njoroge. “It breaks through that clutter enough to let you decompress just a little bit to help get yourself back in a good mental space and help you move forward.”