Article Written by Christina Moonsamy.  Photo by Christina Moonsamy. 

Meet Dance – the Shetland sheepdog, also known as a Sheltie, who comes to visit St. Cloud State University to provide some furry therapy. 

St. Cloud State University hosts weekly DeStress with Pets events every Tuesday at 2 pm up until 3:30 pm in Eastman Hall and sometimes in the Atwood Main lounge where you can stop by and sneak in some cuddles with dogs. Among the various dogs, which include great Danes, Labradors and many more, is a Shetland Sheepdog called Dance. 

Dance is an eight-year-old therapy dog owned by Carol who had gotten her when she was just 9 weeks old. She is a regular at the DeStress with Pets events and will most definitely give you a handshake if you stop by. 

Carol, her owner, always liked the Sheltie breed and has three additional dogs called: Song, Rhythm and Hummer, definitely staying with the theme! Carol says that she has been doing therapy work for the past 23 years and has trained Dance by herself. She described Dance as having a mellow personality but also as being ‘the Alpha’ of the house, making sure to keep her siblings in line.

“She will jump on the other dogs at home that try jumping on you,” Carol said. 

Apart from St. Cloud State University, Dance also makes trips to The Coborn Cancer Center, The Partial Hospitalization Program, St. John’s, St. Ben’s, Camp Friendship, and Operation Purple as well as social events, such as Apollo High School’s homecoming. Dance, however, chose to remain silent when the subject of her date to homecoming was brought up.

Dance not only manages to charm away students at St. Cloud State but also does excellent with the patients at the Coborn Cancer Center, says Carol. 

A piece of advice that Carol has for owners is, “Treat your dogs like they’re your kids because they become attached. They depend on you and you depend on them.”