A special visit to the College of Europe Bruges campus on Wednesday 17 November 2021, as therapy dog Nala from Therapiedier vzw joined two groups of 10 students of the Éliane Vogel-Polsky Promotion for a fun practice session in the courtyard of Verversdijk. The cute and enthusiastic four-legged friend helped the students to overcome a bit of pre-exam stress during the official Day of the Therapy Animal.
"Nala, a crossbreed of a Springer Spaniel and a Flatcoated Retriever (assumed), is a rescue dog from Turkey, I have her for a bit over two years now. She probably had some bad experiences in the first year of her life and was very anxious at first. Nala is now three years old, and we worked hard with her over the past two years. I’m very proud to say that she has become a full-fledged therapy dog", says Alessandra POHL, owner and trainer of therapy dog Nala.
A therapy animal is trained to provide companionship, to improve social contact, to guarantee a certain structure and to break the circle of loneliness. Besides dogs, parrots, chickens, cats, horses, ponies, donkeys and many other species can be trained to provide this service.
Non-profit organization Therapiedier vzw, a network of volunteers, trainers and professional mentors, trains active and passive therapy animals in cooperation with their owners. The therapy animals visit schools, libraries, organizations, residential care facilities for the elderly, rehabilitation centers and all kinds of institutions and services.
Therapiedier vzw wishes the students good luck with their exams and hopes to be back soon for a session of cuddling, tricks and information.