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TSC Sailors Enjoyed a Day Relaxing With Dogs

23 January 2021


Staff and students from Training Support Center (TSC) Great Lakes spent the day interacting with dogs January 23.
GREAT LAKES, Ill. --  Staff and students from Training Support Center (TSC) Great Lakes spent the day interacting with dogs January 23.

Over 200 Sailors met with dog ambassadors from Safe Humane Chicago and Canine Therapy Corps giving them a break from the daily grind of their normal operations on base.

Organized through Illinois State Representative Stephanie Kifowit, worked with Best Friends Animal Society, which has an extensive network of animal shelters throughout the United States, they were able to connect with Safe Humane Chicago who were able to coordinate the event.

“These visits are good for the young sailors and good for the dogs,” Kifowit said. “Many of these dogs from Safe Humane are also therapy dogs who have been unable to provide the comfort they were trained to give. Therefore, giving these young Sailors a break and connected them with dogs that thrive on providing comfort as therapy dog was a win-win. Even though everyone was wearing masks, you could feel the happiness in the young Sailors, the dogs they were interacting with and the volunteers who brought the dogs. It was a very successful event and I am happy they are able to be there for our men and women serving at Great Lakes.”

Safe Humane Chicago’s mission is to create safe and humane communities by inspiring positive relationships between people and animals.

“We had a wonderful day visiting Training Support Center Great Lakes,” said Cynthia Bathurst, chief executive officer of Safe Humane Chicago. “Our goal today was to give the Sailors a sense of peace and relaxation through visiting our ambassador dogs. Today’s program provided an opportunity for dogs impacted by trauma and Sailors to help one-another.”

Student Fire Controlman 3rd Class Su Park has always had dogs while growing up and could not wait to participate in the even.

“Being hear just makes me feel at home,” Park said. “I feel so comfortable right now. I’m so glad I came here today. Dealing with the weather and school this is just a great chance to completely let loose and forget about those things for a bit.”

The first Sailor in line to meet with the dogs was Student Fire Controlman Seaman Samantha Johnson.

“I love dogs and they always make me happy so I was looking forward to today,” Johnson said. “I’ve been at TSC for nearly nine months and seeing the dogs has forced me to take a time out and just relax.”

Every Sailor seemed to have a great time at the event. That was the reason Master Chief Gas Turbine Systems Technician Jason Anderson volunteered to assist in organizing the visit.

“The day went amazing.” Anderson said. “I got involved in the event to give the students, who because of COVID-19 and the mitigation policies, a break from the day to day normal routine of school and remaining on base. Their only focus was to interact with animals, have a good time and break the monotony.”
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