Students and staff at Brockenhurst College can now benefit from the calming influence of therapy dog Pepper under a new initiative signed-off by college chiefs.
Nine-year-old Pepper, who is a west highland terrier/collie, belongs to College Nurse Nicky Atkins, who homed her from the Dogs Trust.
The campus pooch has her own diary through which students and staff can book contact time and even walk her around the college site.
Nicky, who manages Pepper’s engagements, said she has brought pleasure, happiness, morale, calmness, reassurance and support to students in need.
Although she has no formal training, as a happy family dog who enjoys human contact, Pepper has all the right attributes to make a success of her new role.
The four-legged addition to the college community has turned heads everywhere she has been, with almost everyone she encounters on walkabouts stopping to take a second look.
Nicky said: “As soon as Pepper comes out, people put away their phones and just smile.
“Initial feedback shows they feel much happier following just a few seconds of contact with Pepper.
“The research basis for dog therapy benefits is solid, so I’m really pleased the Senior Management Team at Brock has taken the opportunity to give me this extra tool to help students and staff,” she added.