You have less than one week to file your 2016 tax return . If that idea stresses you out, imagine how accountants must be feeling.
Employees at Henry & Peters, PC in Tyler paused the number-crunching and took a moment to decompress Tuesday with help from some four-legged visitors.
“Our staff has been working for the last several weeks at a pretty fast pace,” said Jeff Geese, president of Henry & Peters. “It gets a little stressful this time of year.”
As filing day neared, mounting pressure may have met its match: Murray the labradoodle, Henry the beagle and Concho the golden retriever spent about two hours with Henry & Peters employees on Tuesday afternoon.
The dogs and their owners volunteer with Therapet, a Tyler nonprofit offering animal assisted therapy.
“When Therapets come and someone has a chance to pet them, it tends to slow down your breathing and heart rate, and your blood pressure tends to go down a little bit and you just feel better,” explained Carianne Fisher, the organization’s executive director.
Therapet volunteers typically visit places that provide “human services” or healthcare – including hospitals, schools and prisons among others, Fisher said.
Tuesday afternoon was an exception, as Henry & Peters is a Therapet donor. Rather than sending a card to thank the firm, Fisher decided to bring employees a “Theragram.”
“Why not show them what we do?” she asked. “Why not have them feel the impact instead of us just telling them this is the benefit.”
While some employees were unable to escape the W2s and 1099s, most saw the dogs’ benefit firsthand.
“While our stress doesn't come close to some of the stress relief that's needed by some of the Therapet clients, it's still a difficult time of year, and it's nice to get a break from that,” said Geese.
Tax Day falls on Tuesday, April 18 this year – meaning you have an extra weekend to file your 2016 tax return.