Nov 30, 2022Meet Loch, Augusta University’s Therapy Dog
Augusta University student-athletes are benefiting from some cuddles and friendly energy as they bond with the department’s therapy dog, Loch.
A recent article from Jagwire.Augusta.edu detailed how Loch the therapy dog has become a key fixture in Augusta University’s athletic training room.
Below is an excerpt from that article.
“At the 2019 NCAA Division II regional game hosted by Queens University, they had a therapy dog, and I had the idea that we should get one of our own,” said Lisa Cummins, head athletic trainer for the Jaguars. “It was appropriate because COVID-19 hit soon after, and he’s been a big help as far as athletes coming in that need a mental health break.”
Loch doesn’t just have a big impact on the AU athletes, but he also connects with opposing athletes.
“We have visiting teams that come in just to see him as well,” Cummins said. “He’s lying on the floor with visiting teams’ athletes while they stretch, and he just uplifts everybody’s spirits.”
Cummins shared an example of how Loch has cheered up others.
“A couple of years ago, we had a student come in and he was sitting on one of our tables,” she said. “We could tell that he was upset, and Loch got off the table and put his head on the kid’s knee. The kid talked to us about his injury while he was petting Loch, so it was interesting how Loch reacted when he knew the kid was upset.”
Loch is adept at comforting others, and Cummins said the average day for him consists of activities such as running, playing fetch and hanging out at Christenberry Fieldhouse with coaches and student-athletes.
Someone who has also grown attached to Loch is Alexis Diaz-Infante, a senior volleyball player, and she echoed the same sentiments about the love and comfort that Loch brings to those he encounters.
“It’s so nice to walk in and see a therapy dog,” Alexis said.
“It’s super comforting that if you’re having a bad day, or a rough practice, or you’re tired, you get this adorable dog who is so welcoming and nice. I think he provides an air of calmness to us athletes.”
To read the full article from Jagwire.Augusta.edu, click here.