Canines and Cupcakes spreads positivity


Oliver is a therapy dog who accompanies clients going through their speech therapy session.

As the university reaches the brink of finals, the health, nursing science department has offered several Christmas-spirited, dog activities to help take the pressure of finals off of the student’s minds for a bit.

Canines and Cupcakes took place in the Kinesiology Building Gym on Dec. 7 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. The event featured a variety of vendors and educational activities open towards students, the community and their four-legged companions. A wide diversity of interests such as cupcake decorating, art, games, yoga, costumes contests and health information stations were present in this event.

Ann Carruth, dean of Nursing and Health Sciences, explained the primary focus of the event as well as who is participating.

“It’s for the college,” said Carruth. “It’s to benefit students who are participating in outreach projects for the community. We’ve got all kinds of students from graduate, undergraduate and also students coming in from the high schools. Northshore Tech Community College is here as well.”

Carruth also shared where the idea of Canines and Cupcakes derived from in the first place.

“The idea really came about as ‘its Christmas time, it’s finals week,’” explained Carruth. “We want to give students here, and people from the community, a break to enjoy each other’s dogs and company. I mean, who can’t smile whenever they see a dog, right? You can get to know a person, but also knowing their dog creates a whole new connection.”

Rebeca Davis, associate professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders,  brought Oliver, a therapy dog, who been assisting clients through speech and language sessions for about eight years. Davis explained the impact of having Oliver as a component of her clients’ speech therapy sessions.

“We use him with the clients in our clinic, who have a variety of communication disorders,” Davis said. “He’s a tool we use in therapy to motivate people who have especially been in speech therapy for a long time. It’s kept up their interests, so this is a way to get that interest back, make it a novel, make it interesting, especially for people who like animals.”

Multiple stands throughout Canines and Cupcakes provide information and products to ensure that people’s pets are healthy and happy. The Northshore Tech Community College’s second-year veterinarian technician students focused on how to prevent and what to do to help dogs who are going through medical emergencies from allergies to heat strokes.

Holly Duncan and Suzane Saragusa of Young Living Essential Oils were vending essential oils and medications that are specialized towards an animals’ healing of emotional and physical wounds. They offered a variety of non-toxic approaches to maintain a healthy pet.

 The Hammond Heights Apartment Complex also participated in Canines and Cupcakes to promote that they are pet-friendly. They provide a dog park, dog washing station and more to allow pets and their owners to live amongst each other at ease.

The purpose of relieving students of stress by being able to spend time browsing through vendors and participating in stress-free contests with the company of their dogs by their sides has remained the same.