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Rachel Petty, an assistant trainer at Missouri Western University, said last spring it started out as a joke about how cute and fun it would be if they had a dog in their training rooms to hang out with student-athletes. Then she saw a picture of Myron, an Australian Shepard puppy, and fell in love with his face. She contacted a local breeder, put together a proposal for the university and just like that, Myron was officially a Griffon.
Myron spends his home life with Rachel, her husband, and daughter, but when he’s at school it’s all business…well…some play. O.K. a lot of play. That’s his job.
Rachel explains that when a student-athlete is injured, sports is such a big part of their college life that dealing with the ups and downs of healing and rehab can be an emotional strain. Myron is there to help comfort the student-athletes.
“If we could provide a dog who has proven to help ease mental anxiety and increase spirits, we’re kind of ahead of the game mentally,” said Rachel. “He provides stress relief…dogs have been known to reduce blood pressure, so he’s just all around good for our athletes.”
Missouri Western University claims to be the only Division II school in the country that uses a therapy dog like Myron and she’s talked with a handful of schools around the country about Myron.
I was skeptical before I became a dog parent, but I believe dogs can truly help. That’s the backstory. I also ask Rachel some other hard-hitting questions. For example, does Myron literally lick their wounds? Who cleans up if Myron has an accident? How many student-athletes fake injuries just to come to visit Myron?
To hear more about Myron, you can skip to ___ of the podcast or start from the beginning and learn how you can win big during March Madness with the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Vision Grills. Also, Rachel was telling me how Myron knows exactly where to go when he gets to work. He even has his own Instagram account.
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