Cara Lohrenz, director of student activities, 406.657.1093,
RMC Media Team, 406.657.1105,

Photo: Michaela Kirby (l) and Cara Lohrenzenjoy Pet Partners trainer Lyn Findley’s companion, golden retriever Sunnie, at RMC Ruff Relief in 2013. [photo credit: Lyn Findley] 

Ruff ReliefRuff Relief and Spa Days succor student finals stress 

BILLINGS, April 22, 2014 – Three Spa Days during finals week have offered luxurious relief to RMC students since at least 2004, when Cara Lohrenz was a student.

“We bring in licensed massage therapists for 15-minute massages” for students feeling finals stress, said Lohrenz, who now works as Director of Student Activities at the College.

Spa Days also offers a beautician to provide facials, which will be available 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday, April 28, to Wednesday, April 30. In past years, students have made their own face pillows and even received manicures. The services in Fraley Lounge are “just for RMC students to help relax them in the most stressful week of the year,” she said. 

For students who prefer soft furry hugs, companionship, and unconditional acceptance, RMC offers the 3rd biannual Ruff Relief: six trained “comfort dogs” and their trainers visit campus for “AAA” [animal-assisted activities] from the international organization Pet Partners.

“I know many students who have dogs or other pets at home that they miss. It’s such a simple thing to be able to spend time with someone that you don't need to explain anything to or worry about judgments from,” said student Michalea Kirby, of Brentwood, N.H., who coordinated the event this year. The dogs visit Monday and Tuesday, April 28-29, 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. 

“It's always nice to just see people’s day light up when they get to be with the dogs, even if it's only for a few minutes between classes,” she said. Senior Rebecca Severson, of Laramie, Wyo., originated Ruff Relief as a residence assistant in spring 2013 for her dorm advisees.

For Pet Partners’ third visit next week, Jill Washburn, community services coordinator, said, “They’re such great partners. We love having them on campus.”