National Doughnut Day celebrated with doughnuts and dogs in Taylor

Jana+Sweeney+pours+more+water+for+her+therapy+dog%2C+Mazie%2C+which+was+brought+in+for+the+Dogs+and+Doughnuts+event+in+the+Taylor+Hall+lobby.+

Ashanti Thomas

Jana Sweeney pours more water for her therapy dog, Mazie, which was brought in for the Dogs and Doughnuts event in the Taylor Hall lobby.

Luke Taylor, News Editor

Taylor Hall’s lobby filled with students Thursday afternoon as they ate donuts and gathered around to pet three therapy dogs which were brought to campus for the event.

“Dogs and Doughnuts,” an aptly named event, combined celebrations for National Doughnut Day with an opportunity for students to relieve stress and maybe even complete some service hours.

Madelyn Powers, a junior English major on the Living Learning Community Event Planning Staff, said that after planning the event, organizers said they realized that Thursday was not National Doughnut Day but decided to go ahead with their plans.

“We thought today was National Doughnut Day. It is not, but we are acting like it is still, and just like with midterms like just happening and like finals are gonna be happening soon,” Powers said. “You know, like everyone’s stressed, so to have some stress relief with some dogs is super nice.”

Students could make “tie blankets” out of fleece provided by the LLC Event Planning Staff and stuff them with leftover scraps to make dog beds and toys.

The event also featured education on the differences between therapy animals, service animals and emotional support animals.

Rebeccah Maley, a resident director in charge of the LLC Event Planning Staff, said that she decided to bring in representatives from Eastern’s Health Education Resource Center as additional support for students who might be dealing with emotional stressors.

“After what happened this weekend, we just thought it’d be a good idea to bring some additional support to our students, since that was already the kind of theme of the program,” Maley said. “Since this might be a really good space that if students wanted to talk, there were some people here to give them that space to talk.”

The three dogs, Betty, Bear and Mazie, are all typically volunteered to work with children or patients in the hospital.

All three are considered therapy dogs, which means that their main purpose is just to show emotional support to people.

Therapy dogs don’t require in-depth training to the level of service animals, but they do have to be calm, friendly and able to deal with different situations.

Emotional support animals also require lower levels of training. ESAs are intended to serve as a companion to an individual and can often get special permission to live somewhere where pets aren’t typically allowed.

Service animals require rigorous training as they serve purposes like helping blind people find their way or alerting others when their owner is having a medical emergency. They’re allowed to be in places like grocery stores where animals usually aren’t allowed.

Emilie Bowman, a junior English education major, is also on the LLC Event Planning Staff and, along with Powers, helped out at the Dogs and Doughnuts event.

“Who doesn’t love dogs? Who doesn’t love free food?” Bowman said. “So basically, we are really appealing to just everybody. We just want everybody to come out, relax, have a good time, get some food.”

The LLC Event Planning Staff works with all five LLCs on campus, including Freshman Connection, Pine Honors College, the Roosevelt Leadership Institute, the Doug DiBianco Community and the Transfer LLC.

Luke Taylor can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]