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Dogs help keep students’ heads in the books
Dogs have been found to soothe and help children with learning disabilities, elderly residents living in nursing homes and soldiers with stress disorders returning from war. According to MSNBC, dogs have also recently found a new niche – helping students study for their law exams.
Many law students feel the stress of having to both finish classes and internships and study for the all-important bar exams after graduation. Although most are able to get through the years on their own, some are now using therapy dogs to help them stay calm during some of the most important exams of their lives.
At the University of Arizona, therapy dog Ella, a poodle, can be seen roaming the halls of the law school library. She, along with her owner Diane Alexander, have paired with the Delta Society's pet partners program. Ella is one of 20 specially trained dogs who visit the campus to help students calm down before and after big exams and presentations.
"The students love it," Alexander told the publication. "They spend so much time with their noses in books or staring at a computer. Hugging a dog for a little while, it makes them feel happy."
The program was started a few years ago after Cindy Hirsch, a library fellow at the school, learned of similar programs offered at many other universities across the country. According to the source, Hirsch talked to the school and then to local therapy dog groups who jumped at the chance to help students stay stress-free.
"I'd say it's been pretty rewarding for everyone involved," Hirsch told the news source.
Students like Rachel Corrigan, 25, and Katie Daubert, 29, have come to find peace and support through the dogs.
"Wow," Corrigan told the news outlet as she plopped down next to Ella on a couch in the library. "I had four finals and a paper due the last day, so it's been a marathon."
For Daubert, just being able to see the dogs' friendly faces has kept her focused on her goals and have provided a good distraction when need be.
"There's just something so cool about seeing a dog at school," Daubert told MSNBC.
Therapy dogs can help a range of people feel better and it's important that owners of such dogs take equally good care of their canines. Make sure to pamper your worthy pooch with plenty of treats like Greenies for Dogs or PureBites and provide it with a comfortable place to rest its head, like on a Plush Memory Sleeper. Owners should also bring pet supplies like a Flexi Retractable Leash, dog bowls and plenty of pet food to keep the dogs content while they do their good deeds.