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students surround dogStudents Linda Adam-Hauser, Meghan de Chastelain and David Prokupek enjoy a little time with Mr. Blister, a trained therapy dog.

Dogs prove students’ best friends in combatting stress

Stressed-out students took a pause for paws Wednesday, spending time with trained therapy dogs at one of the busiest points of the academic year.

“Petting a dog really helps to lower people’s stress,” says Joshua St. Denis, director of special events for the Odette Marketing Association, which organized the day with the help of Therapeutic Paws of Canada.

He said that more than 230 students took a canine break from their studies over the course of the two-hour event.

“We had to cut the line off,” St. Denis says. “It was such a success, we are hoping to do it again in the future.”

Therapeutic Paws of Canada provides animals to visit humans in hospitals, schools, and care facilities. Its volunteers assess dogs for good manners, love of people and their tolerance for other animals and new situations.

“Not every dog is suited to this type of work,” says St. Denis. “All the ones we had were so friendly.”

It was a feeling returned by the student visitors: “As people came into the room, you could just see them get giddy and happy.”

See more images in the event’s Facebook photo album.