Columbia Airport eases nerves of travelers with therapy dogs - DatelineCarolina

Columbia airport eases nerves of travelers with therapy dogs

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Unlike other assistance dogs, Loki wears a vest that invites passengers to pet him Unlike other assistance dogs, Loki wears a vest that invites passengers to pet him
Loki and Siva wait for nervous passengers to come pet them Loki and Siva wait for nervous passengers to come pet them

By: Josh Butler

Columbia Metropolitan Airport may be a calmer place to fly for nervous travelers thanks to two new employees.  Loki and Ziva aren't new TSA agents or pilots, however; they're therapy dogs.

"It's just something about having that dog here that just kind of makes your cares go away," says Lynn Douglas, customer service manager for the airport.

Loki, an Australian Shepherd/Poodle mix, has been greeting passengers since November.

"I've seen these people out here, it's the only way I could think of to help them out," says Loki's owner David Smith.

Loki and Ziva are from Therapy Dogs, Inc., a non profit organization dedicated to training and providing service dogs.

The dogs are a welcome sight in the terminal for many passengers.

"I think pets in general have a calming effect for anybody that comes in and sees them," says Stephen Eagle, an airport traveler.

Therapy Dogs Inc. says therapy dogs can help passengers by "lowering stress levels and blood pressure."

For nervous fliers... the love of a dog may be just the ticket for a calmer flight.



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