WillyPete’s story: I rescued Willypete as a puppy from someone who couldn’t have him anymore. I was in the military at the time and was studying Psychology. I got interested in animal assisted therapy and started training him as a therapy dog to volunteer with veterans who had PTSD. We went through multiple courses and eventually had him certified and started volunteering (see attached article on one of our larger volunteering events).
I soon left the military and came to University of St Andrews. Since then, Willypete and I volunteer most semesters at different halls of residence for ‘puppy therapy’ to act as a “de-stressor” to students around exam time. Willypete has had a strong presence in the University, acting as mascot for the University basketball team, rowing team, Albany Park Wardennial team, and even has his own column in the Psychology MAZE magazine – providing ‘life advice’ to Psychology undergrads (written by MAZE editors, not me; they didn’t even spell my name properly in one issue!). If you are interested in having Willypete attend an event as a de-stressor, don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can check out some of his publications below:
Check out the video below discussing how amazing it is to be a PhD student in Scotland and the benefits of having Willypete in our research Lab: