Stressed About Finals? There’s a Dog for That!

For students, the end of the semester or school year tends to be a fairly stressful time in their lives. There is so much to learn and so much studying to be done in order to do well on final exams in particular. You have probably been there before and understand the high levels of stress that occur during this particular time. This is why it is so important to find ways to reduce stressful feelings.

Recently, a group of high school students in Oakland California were in a similar position. A group of students had gathered at the local public library to study for final exams together. It was a very quiet scene at the library: dozens of students leaning over books and gazing at laptop screens, diligently studying at tables and desks for their final exams. Not long after, there was a very special addition to the group that basically changed everything. It was just what the doctor ordered for the students: it was dogs.

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These were not just any dogs, though. There were five dogs, including three golden retrievers and two Leonbergers, large lion-like dogs that are part of a group known at the Go Team Therapy and Service Dogs organization. These dogs were not only there to provide a much needed break for studying students, but to bring some stress relief to them as well.

The dogs, along with their owners and handlers, have a very specific purpose. The dogs are very highly trained. They are primarily used to assist in stressful situations like helping individuals recovering from surgery or those who have been through traumatic experiences. Some experts say these dogs are very effective, helping to reduce stress levels or even blood pressure in people who spend time with therapy dogs. These visits aren’t just to libraries, however: many dogs make visits to hospitals and other public locations in order to help humans.

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