SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A new furry companion visits members of the American International College (AIC) staff every Wednesday.

On Wednesday, January 18, the opening day of the spring semester, Woody, the on-campus therapy dog at AIC, visited the admissions office. Before the pandemic even started, he started going to administrative offices.

The term “Woody Wednesdays” was created when, according to Vice President of Admissions Kerry Cole, the staff begged his owner, Executive Assistant to the President, Candy Lash, to stop by on a weekly basis since they loved the visits so much. 

Woody’s visits, according to Cole, not only give her workers a great respite from their workday but also help them decompress. “Seeing Woody and Candy can brighten even the darkest of days. We love Woody Wednesdays and hope to have them continue for many years to come,” expressed Cole.

Will, Cole’s 2.5-year-old son, always makes a point to see Woody when he comes to campus. Will has been so moved by the kind dog that he has given Woody Lash, a plush animal, a loving name. 

Woody was a rescue from Texas and is now trained as a pet therapy dog who not only helps staff members (and their kids) who are under stress but also brings solace to AIC students who are anxious about their lessons and examinations. The golden retriever/mix was trained by Bright-Spot Therapy Dogs in West Brookfield, Massachusetts, and was adopted by Lash as a rescue from Texas.

Woody no longer wanders the streets; instead, he conducts weekly rounds on campus, providing assistance where it is required.