Dog Organization Brings Midterm Relief to Campus

February 22, 2011 / by / 1 Comment

By Doug Carroll
Communications Staff

Grand Canyon University went to the dogs this week.

Or, more precisely, the dogs went to GCU.

Ten Golden Retrievers from the nonprofit organization Arizona Golden Rescue visited campus Tuesday and Wednesday for what president Deb Orwig described as a “meet-and-greet.” The timing couldn’t have been better, with students taking midterm exams this week.

“It’s documented that petting a dog lowers your blood pressure,” said Orwig, whose dogs were in various stages of repose Tuesday beneath a small tent on the east side of Building 10. Another visit was scheduled for 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday.

“These are ‘ambassa-dogs,’” Orwig said. “They sell our organization to the public. They’re examples of the dogs we get in, and they’re our walking advertisement.”

Arizona Golden Rescue, a 2-year-old organization, has more than 300 members and takes in Goldens and Golden mixes from throughout the state. Known for their loving, affectionate temperament and their intelligence, Goldens often are used as guide and assistance dogs.

A Golden named Rocky, who was sprawled at Orwig’s feet, is one of those. At less than 2 years, he was considered “hyperdestructive” and “unmanageable” but is now a certified therapy dog.

Orwig uses Rocky, now 12, to work with second- and third-grade English Language Learners at Bicentennial South Elementary School in Glendale.

“They read aloud to him, a different book every week,” Orwig said of the students. “You can see the progress they’ve made (in reading).”

The arrangement to bring Orwig and her dogs to campus was made by Disability Services Manager Beth Jamison, who was intrigued when she saw them at a similar meet-and-greet at a local pet store.

“This is great, it’s fun and we love doing it,” Orwig said.

Jamison already is making plans to have the dogs return for finals week at the end of the semester.

Orwig said Goldens are surrendered for a variety of reasons, the most common being that the owner didn’t have the time to spend on care. Because veterinary treatment sometimes can cost thousands of dollars, Arizona Golden Rescue stages two major fundraisers a year.

For more information on Arizona Golden Rescue, go to

Reach Doug Carroll at 639.8011 or

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One Response
  1. carol ann lee

    This is such a wonderful program. My sister has a golden who is named Grober but is nick named Needy. She is so loving and needs lots of loving back. They really do stay attached to people.

    Feb.23.2011 at 12:20 pm
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