Staff Council goes to the dogs at Cathedral

Marsha Robbins has been bringing dogs to Pitt for 17 years, but until now their focus has been on helping students at evening sessions every Tuesday.

This week, the dogs were in the Cathedral of Learning for an afternoon session with faculty and staff members, sponsored by Staff Council.

The pleasant pooches came in two sessions on June 26, because, as one handler said, they tend to get so relaxed that they fall asleep. About eight dogs were on hand, while as many as 30 show up for the student sessions.

A steady stream of faculty and staff showed up to pet the pooches and talk to the handlers.

The dogs go through extensive training before being classified as therapy pets. Owner Nancy Wolfe said her golden retriever Oliver may be calm while he's working, but he's not nearly as relaxed at home.