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.”