Dogs Rescue Students from Finals Stress

Dog lover Lauren Sarazen, a Chapman University freshman, gets several wet kisses from Libby, a 5-year-old chocolate Lab. The school hosts Furry Friends for Finals for the second year. The therapy dogs help reduce stress during finals week. CINDY YAMANAKA, THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

Chapman University students got a chance for a quick stress relief from studying for finals – by petting and hugging dogs.  Nearly 300 students showed up for the two-hour Furry Friends for Finals, hosted for the second year by the campus club Active Minds, which promotes mental-health awareness. The dogs were brought in by a volunteer program in Long Beach, Beach Animals Reading with Kids. It encourages children to increase their reading skills and self-confidence by reading aloud to therapy dogs.

Students signed waivers and stood in line for a chance to spend several minutes with their choice of eight different dogs, including a Labrador, a French bulldog and a Shetland sheepdog. “Animals help relieve anxiety,” said Megan Kauffman, a therapist with the university’s Student Psychological Counseling Services. “It’s really therapeutic to pet a dog and relax, especially during finals.” Freshman Eddie Lopez said the sight of a dog was welcome. “Since we can’t have dogs in the dorms, it’s been forever since I’ve seen a dog,” Lopez said. “It’s fun to be able to pet one.”



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