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Flash the Dog – Lighting Up Resident Lives


Meet Flash, he’s an expert on reducing stress and knows all about life on campus!

Are you trying to get used to life in the Village? Figuring things out and paving new routines can be stressful so perhaps a furry break is what you need.

Meet the cute and furry Canine Coach who is enabling residents to feel good, function well and flourish throughout the entire semester at Student Village Melbourne.

Flash is a highly trained therapy dog who is:

  • RSPCA Pet Dog Manners certified
  • A National Canine Good Citizen award recipient
  • Member of the Lead the Way Animal Assisted Therapy Human-Canine team
  • Animal Assisted Therapy Advanced Canine Applications qualified

Depending on resident needs, Flash transforms between Zestful Canine Coach to Therapy Dog – he can engage in energetic play with a squeaky toy, perform 15 unique tricks (including ringing a bell) or sit quietly for a gentle pat to reduce anxiety.

Flash and his owner/handler Roz Rimes visits the University of Melbourne on a fortnightly basis allowing residents to participate in as much or as little interaction as they would like with the Canine Coach.

During his visits, residents are able to engage with Flash through Zestful tricks and play, a gentle walk and talk, Labradoodle picnics or quiet time in the study lounges.

Research shows that human-canine interactions are likely to enhance residents’ health.

Neurobiological benefits include:

  • Savouring to elicit and boost positive emotions
  • An increase in serotonin and oxytocin production
  • Decrease in cortisol reducing both physiological and psychological stress
  • Preventing amygdala hijack thus increasing cognitive development
  • Improved empathy for self and others
  • Social competence by using High Quality Connections (HQC) to make new friends

Flash and Roz have been a Delta Society Therapy Dog team at the Royal Melbourne Hospital for over six years and work in the areas of rehabilitation, mental health and eating disorders.

The duo also work as a tutoring team at Canine Comprehension teaching wellbeing programs in schools. In 2017 Canine Comprehension’s programs were independently evaluated by Victoria’s School Focused Youth Service (SFYS) from which findings indicated a reduction in anxiety, increase in cognitive development, improved empathy and increased sociability.

What better way to light up your day than with some contagiously uplifting interaction with this highly intelligent and affectionate Labradoodle.

Campus Living Villages is proud to be innovatively committed to resident wellbeing. We strive to help residents make friends, learn invaluable skills and excel in their studies.

 

For more information about Flash or Roz, contact:

Roz Rimes
Master of Applied Positive Psychology
Master of Education Policy (International)
rozrimes09@gmail.com
www.livewithzest.com.au


About the Author

Penelope Killick

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