The trained Pekingese serves as a buddy to students who are far away from home

By Amy Jamieson
September 02, 2016 01:46 PM

A friendly fur ball might be just what nervous incoming freshman need to get off to a great start.

That’s why Annie the therapy dog is on hand at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh to help ease the jitters that come with a new school year.

According to FOX 11 News, who reported the story, the Pekingese is making a difference at the school, a week before classes start.

“Her role is to provide support to students,” said the college’s counseling center director, Sandy Cox. “They don’t know who they’re going to be living with. They don’t know what kind of friendships they’re going to make, how hard school’s going to be, being away from home.”

The adorable pooch attends outreach events and counseling sessions, lending a paw wherever needed. “For people who are really struggling, she provides a lot of comfort to them,” Cox told FOX 11. “It’s really beneficial. I think that we all look for unconditional, positive regard and who better to give that than a dog?”

The trained pooch helps promote a sense of belonging. “It’s so important to feeling that you’re part of the campus, is feeling engaged,” she said.

FOX 11 reported that nearby St. Norbert College and the Menasha School District are calling on therapy dogs this school year, too.