The Santa Fe destination spa’s snuggly services aren’t just about making humans happy, but about helping the puppies learn, too. Sunrise Springs partnered with Assistance Dogs of the West (ADW) — a non-profit organization dedicated to training service dogs for those in need — to create the on-site Puppy Enrichment Center, currently home to eight puppies training to be service dogs, reports USA Today.
Puppies training to be service dogs require lots of socialization, so they are prepared to calmly handle any situation when they are older. This is where Sunrise Springs steps in. The spa resort uses its puppy play and cuddling packages as a way to help humans and dogs.
According ADW executive director Linda Milanesi, humans get a chance to lower their blood pressure, heart rate and cortisol levels, while increasing oxytocin levels by interacting with the puppies through spa programs like Upbeat Canine Play and Puppy Preschool. And the service dog students get the opportunity to socialize and learn basic commands from a variety of friendly faces.
Obviously, Sunrise Springs’ puppy activities are the resort’s most popular features.
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“We are grateful for the opportunity to have the puppies here and to support such an important program,” general manager of Sunrise Springs Mara Bouvier told USA Today. “Our guests rave about their experience, no matter what age the puppies are. To see them from newborns to 6 months old, in all stages of development and learning, is often the highlight of their stay.”
The puppies are pampered, as well. All of the little dogs’ activities are supervised by trained ADW professionals, and when the canines aren’t learning from guests, the puppies can often be found eating, playing on the resort’s property or resting in their luxurious accommodations.