SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — When COVID-19 first began in March of 2020, Peggy Byrne and her therapy dog Ellie, a golden retriever, were no longer allowed in public spaces to help people with their anxiety.
But now the long hiatus is over. After almost 18 months away, the two were able to return to venues like the Syracuse airport to support travelers with anxiety about flying. Byrne thinks that the current global climate calls for more pet therapy dogs like Ellie.
“I think that with all that’s going on in this world it’s more needed than ever,” Byrne said.
Byrne and Ellie have been involved with Paws of CNY, a pet therapy organization helping people with stress and anxiety, for about 10 years.
Paws of CNY has been sending owners and their dogs, like Byrne and Ellie, to ease travelers of the anxieties that flying causes in many people.
People who are very anxious of flying, who are flying for the first time or even people who have not flown in a long time may benefit from Ellie’s presence. Byrne said she notices Ellie uplifts their moods.
Byrne and Ellie will continue to be at the Syracuse airport on select days and soon return to the Syracuse University campus when the fall semester begins.