The founder and coordinator is my friend Marsha Robbins, who has three adorable dogs who come to Pitt on alternate weeks with her; she's also been kind enough to be the focus on a long term project for my news class recently. However, more about the College Canine program! The entire program is run by volunteers out of the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society, and while open to the public it's mostly a wonderful opportunity for animal lovers to see the dogs, for students to socialize and network, and for stress levels to go down - the last bit is the ultimate goal since studies show that spending time with animals raises the calming hormone known as serotonin.
Students tend to associate the most with one owner and their animals based on personalities and favorite breed; I personally love every animal there, although once Marsha's dog Maui plops onto my lap (which she does), I'm not going anywhere. This is one experience at Pitt I make time for every week; I'm an animal lover, I've made good friends here, and I always feel better no matter what.
It'll be a long winter break, and as fun as it will be, I'll be looking forward to seeing Pitt go to the dogs again once I return to campus!
Information on therapy dogs:http://www.tdi-dog.org/
And information on the humane society: http://www.wpahumane.com/