College students get puppy therapy from exam stress

Posted at 11:46 PM, Dec 06, 2012
and last updated 2012-12-06 23:50:23-05

FARMVILLE, Va. (WTVR) - Longwood University on Thursday gave students, and teachers, a furry break from the stress of exam week.

For the second day this week, professors brought their dogs to campus to put smiles on the faces of test-weary students on the lawn in front of Lancaster Hall.

The event, dubbed “Study Paws,” was an opportunity for about a dozen dogs to romp with more than a 100 students on Thursday afternoon.

Some students made plans to be there, while others who just finished exams, were surprised by the playful pups waiting for them.

Students cooed and clamored over the mixes of dogs, and also launched plenty tennis balls.

“I just got out of a two-and-a-half hour exam, so having this to do is really great,” said J.D. Johnson, class of 2013.

“It started off as a very impromptu event,” said organizer Dr. Jake Milne, assistant professor of sociology. “We wanted to do it for a while, so I put a post-up on Facebook to see if we could drum up some interest, and it came together in just a few hours.”

Other schools around the country offer time with therapy dogs as a stress reliever, but Longwood is one of the only to make faculty pets available to students.

“It brings everybody together at a time when stress and emotions are high,” said Milne. “The students take a break from studying, and the faculty takes a break from grading—and they love having students play with their puppies.”