It is becoming popular for universities and colleges to bring in therapy dogs to help de-stress students and faculty before or during exam weeks. This is a very demanding and stressful time for everyone and having activities that take the students' minds in another direction is welcomed.
Las Vegas is no exception. The schools are always looking for creative ways to enrich their students' lives and particularly at exam time. Inviting in registered therapy dogs has become a twice-annual event and proven to be one of the most successful endeavors.
The Las Vegas Pet Partners affiliate program, Love Dog Adventures, was invited for a second visit to the William S. Boyd School of Law and the dogs came to the rescue!
The therapy team consisted of a broad variety of breeds including an Italian Greyhound, Old English Sheepdog, Airedale Terrier and of course there had to be poodles there! Three in fact!
Students, faculty and staff came to meet the furriest visitors on campus during a two-hour Meet & Greet the Love Dogs. After some group visiting, we were asked to walk the Library stacks and visit with students heavily engaged in studying. Every single one picked up their head to pet a dog!
Some were surprised to learn the dogs had been just a room away for an hour as they said they did not "hear" any dogs in the Library! We explained that Pet Partner / Love Dogs should not bark when working.
This opened up the conversation to how we train therapy dogs and the requirements to become Pet Partner / Love Dogs. And since I am a dog trainer, tons of questions about "how can my dog be so calm and quiet and loving?"
That brief moment of fun and casual conversation made it easier to get back to the work of studying.
What are the benefits of bringing therapy animals during exam periods? Five minutes petting a dog can lower blood pressure and reduce stress and anxiety. Chatting with the owner can distract from the grind of coursework and clear someone's mind so they are fresh to resume studying. Students can check their worries at the door and just be relaxed and experience the dogs. Many of the students miss their own dogs while at school so you could see how they each gravitated towards a specific dog - perhaps one like their own back at home.
Sometimes the students just wanted to speak with someone about anything other than school.
Sometimes they wanted to vent about their struggles with school.
Everyone appreciated being listened to and the dogs are great listeners!
Before you knew it the students and faculty were re-energized to resume their important work of the day and our furry guests made so many new friends.
Two hours, six dogs, immeasurable success.