Wednesday, January 23, 2013

College Students Are Going to the Dogs

Colleges all across the America are going to the dogs.  Tufts, UNC, Oberlin, Harvard and Yale are just a few institutions of higher learning where students have discovered that therapy dogs can relieve the stress and strain of college life.  After trying massage, yoga, pizza parties, and other activities we won’t mention to reduce pressure, they hit the jackpot with furry, four-legged stress relievers.
 Scholars at Harvard and Yale libraries can check out resident therapy dogs instead of books.  Many students miss the pets left behind and the comforts of home.  More and more colleges and universities have pet-friendly dorms now.  Therapy dogs and other pets provide a connection to home.  Stressed out, especially when studying for final exams, college students can unwind and forget their studies and problems when petting and interacting with the dogs.

The calming and therapeutic effect of therapy dogs is no secret.  They visit hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, schools, and libraries.   Therapy dogs have been called upon after crisis situations like 911, Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, and recently after the tragedy at Sandy Hook School at Newtown, Connecticut. 

A chapter in my book, Life with McDuff: LessonsLearned from a Therapy Dog, tells how I became a therapy dog volunteer.  If you own a dog who likes people and other animals, loves to be petted, and has basic obedience training, why not consider becoming a therapy dog volunteer?  See my web site for links containing information about Therapy Dogs International, Therapy Dogs, Inc., Reading with Rover, and AKC Canine Good Citizen Test.
Pass the word!  Today’s college students are going to the dogs.


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