Exams are tough. High stress levels from difficult exams, lengthy review sessions and presentations to prepare mean students are running ragged. Eastern Michigan University’s Pre-Vet Club came up with a solution to help calm peoples’ nerves: the Puppy Room. The Pre-Vet Club brought puppies and dogs to EMU’s Science Complex on Dec. 16 to interact with students.
Many people consider dogs to be therapeutic. Recovering patients at a hospital might receive visits from trained therapy dogs and benefit with lower blood pressure, higher endorphins and reduce anxiety.
Alyssa Meier, president-elect of the Pre-Vet Club, said they “brought puppies in to help people de-stress for finals.” Students may not be hospital patients, but the end of the semester takes a toll on even the most resilient bodies. Lower blood pressure and less anxiety are benefits for students too.
She brought in her own puppy, Jason, but most of the dogs in the room were up for adoption.
Most of the puppies came from an organization called FIDO Dog Rescue. FIDO is a nonprofit organization dedicated to finding permanent homes for dogs from kill shelters, owner-surrenders and shelters that sell dogs to research. Foster homes take over the vet care, socialization and basic training of these dogs, while FIDO searches for permanent homes. Meier describes FIDO as, “an organization focused on finding incredible dog owners.” Most of the dogs, she says, are from kill shelters down south.
Margaret Campbell, foster-owner of several dogs, brought along a tiny black puppy by the name of Zeus. She also brought two large, shaggy and friendly sisters, Jasmine and Jade. They were owner-surrenders and looking for a new home. Besides daily care, Campbell takes them to adoption events and works on their training. She says they are very well-socialized, but one of them likes to chase cars and the other will jump up in greeting. At the event, both were displaying calm demeanors, perhaps because they each were surrounded by several college students happy to sit still and pet them.
One of the students, sophomore Katy Davis, didn’t know about the event beforehand, but she was enthusiastic about the chance to spend some time with the dogs.
“It absolutely helped me de-stress. I think this is the best thing you could do to de-stress,” Davis said. Jasmine and Zeus seemed happy to help her out, flopping down within petting distance and letting their ears be rubbed.
For the students who were showering the dogs with attention, it was a bright spot in their day.
Whether it was the wet noses, the soft ears that need to be scratched or a dog-kiss from a dainty tongue, there were smiles all around the Puppy Room.
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