Keep Calm and Pet the Puppies

With all of the stress inherent in a fast-paced environment like Drexel’s quarter system, there’s nothing quite as relaxing as petting a dog. Sadly, this doesn’t usually work very well living in a dorm or small apartment in a city. Taking proper care of a dog is also typically a very time consuming, if rewarding, proposition. Considering the workload I have, I know that I don’t have all that much extra time left to me.

Thankfully, Drexel is aware of all of this, both the benefits and drawbacks of canine companionship. These benefits are why they have the Drexel Therapy Dog program, with two giant cuddle bugs on campus eight to ten hours a week to help with bouts of homesickness and testing blues. The current therapy dogs are Chai and Espresso, two furry mountains of love, Cani Corsi hungry for all the petting and attention you can give them.

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting the pups a few times now, and they are just the sweetest. Chai is very laid back and mature at five years old, willing to give you her belly for rubs, but not insisting on your attention. Espresso, on the other hand, is her much younger pup at three years old, still with a puppy’s curiosity and insistence that you give her the rubs. Both are gentle giants, with paws that I swear are at least as big as my hand.

Despite the vital role that they play, Chai and Espresso do not have an office or central base on campus, preferring to roam around various locations to meet the most students instead of having you come to them. The best way, aside from blind luck, to catch some time with these calming influences on legs is to follow their social media pages, where they let everyone know where they will be and what events they’ll attend. These pups keep up with the times and know the importance of maintaining a presence online for their friends and fans to keep with their lives.

If time with Chai and Espresso isn’t enough to satisfy the animal lover in you, there are numerous animal shelters in the area which could always use more volunteers and helpers. I know that the SPCA nearest me is often eager for people to visit their various animals as they wait for their forever homes. Socialization is just as crucial for the dogs and cats there as it is for people. I used to go to the SPCA with my son to take some of the dogs for a walk around the grounds or cuddle some of the kitties. They even had several books for younger kids to sit and read to the cats, encouraging calm behavior from child and feline alike. And who knows? Maybe you’ll find the furry piece of your heart that you can’t live without as well.

Have you met Chai and Espresso yet? Did they make you melt a little? Have you volunteered or helped at shelters before? Let us know below in the comments section.


Daniel Holl
Daniel is a non-traditional student who splits his time between campus and his home in Swarthmore with his wife and children. When he somehow manages to get caught up on his school work, Daniel likes to relax with a fantasy novel or take his dog Mac for a run in the woods.

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