Photo Gallery: Therapy dog charms students

Daniel performs a trick in which Baker makes students hold out matchbox cars of different colors. Barker would then ask Daniel to approach certain colors.

CARMEN GUZMAN, Editor in Chief

Students gathered around a ball of white and gold fur in the Hive. Several hands reached into the frenzy, eager to grace the silky coat of Eastfield’s furry guest.

Daniel, an 11-year-old rough collie, works under Heart of Texas Therapy Dogs. Counseling services invited the organization to campus on Dec. 5 for students stressed over final exams.

“He tries to bring smiles and help students de-stress a bit before finals,” said Sheryll Barker, Daniel’s handler and Heart of Texas co-founder. “We know this is a really rough time of year for most students.”

More handlers under Heart of Texas visited other campuses and will continue visiting in the coming days.

For one of Daniel’s tricks, Barker had students hold out matchbox cars. Daniel identified the cars based on color. According to Barker, Daniel is among the 70% of dogs who can’t see purple.

Much to her surprise, Daniel approached the student holding out the purple car. He returned to Barker, then stood at attention for a treat. His handler obliged.

“He has his moments,” Barker said. “He’s a good guy.”