Bearded Collie Mink gets ‘job’ at a Wigan college

Student life can be stressful at times, with essays to write and exams to sit.

So Winstanley College has found a new way to help students deal with their stress.

Former Crufts show dog Mink and owner Robynne Wood

Former Crufts show dog Mink and owner Robynne Wood

A bearded collie named Mink has been “employed” to help the students.

The college believes it is the first in the country to have a therapy dog.

It comes as numerous studies show interactions with animals, particularly friendly, furry animals like cats and dogs, can decrease stress in humans.

But while most people cannot take their pet to work or college, Winstanley students and staff can now spend time with Mink. It is hoped she will act as a stress reliever and provide comfort for students.

Mink will be great as a therapy dog at the college. She is also the laziest dog on the planet and so would be very quiet and sleep when not needed

Robynne Wood

Nine-year-old Mink is described as a “sweet-natured, very friendly dog and very soft to stroke”.

She belongs to geography teacher Robynne Wood, who is a dog breeder in her spare time and regularly exhibits her dogs at Crufts.

She said: “Mink loves people and we use her at the Discover Dogs roadshow at Crufts for thousands of people to pet over the four days and promote the breed.

“Mink will be great as a therapy dog at the college. She is also the laziest dog on the planet and so would be very quiet and sleep when not needed.”

Mink started “work” at the college this week and even has her own staff ID card.

She follows in the footsteps of yellow labrador Bramble, who is based at Hindley All Saints’ CE Primary School.

Bramble has been at the school since September 2015 and has proved to be popular, spending time with pupils and staff, visiting classrooms, hearing children read, joining worship and even going on school trips.

She belongs to headteacher Kevin Ward and is his “family dog” when they are away from school.