Earlier this week the Calgary airport brought in its first pack of canine helpers to alleviate the stress of airport travelers.
Three days a week the Pet Access League Society (PALS) will have their therapy dogs in the pre-boarding area of the Calgary Airport as a way to reduce stress among travelers.
There is a strong and natural bond between animals and people, and pet therapy has been shown to reduce anxiety, blood pressure and the risk of heart attack.
Airports are often stressful places. Whether you’re afraid of flying, worried about rescheduling a flight, or just anxious about getting home to your family – the presence of a calming, smiling canine can make all the difference. This is why the Calgary Airport brought in the happiness experts!
“They are our pet ambassadors and their first priority is to go where there may be passengers under a little bit of anxiety or stress such as delayed flights or … long queuing in lines,” said Diana Segboer with PALS.
There are 39 airports across North America offering similar programs and the goal (regardless of location) is always the same: bring a little bit of happiness and relaxation to the airport’s constituency of travelers.
“Dogs just bring in puppy love … when you start petting your dog, that just brings down your blood pressure, brings in all the good pheromones in your body.”
Jennifer James, who is volunteering the services of her Wheaton Terrier says, “You can feel the stress leave their body” and many travelers seem to relax simply at the sight of the dog.
As for the dogs, they take their work very seriously! Jennifer says, “At the end of a visit, they’re exhausted. You can tell that they’ve really put in some work!”
PALS does amazing work, and the Calgary Airport is just one of many places benefitting from the presence of their canine superstars.
Dogs aren’t the only PALS making a difference in the lives of Calgarians. In fact, the organization has dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs and even ferrets that are lending their services to people in need.
To learn more about PALS, visit their website or follow them on Facebook.
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By Bailey Schroeder, ResQwalk Founder