Thursday, 02 May 2013 02:36

UMaine Hosts Therapy Dogs to Help Relieve Finals Stress

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ORONO - The University of Maine had some friendly fun loving new faces on campus today in preparation for finals week.
They're not the first thing you'd expect to see at a library, but believe it or not they were on the UMaine campus to help ease the stress of finals.
"I did some research and I found out that UNH, MIT, and a bunch of other university libraries have therapy dogs come during finals, and that's it's been very, very successful. So I thought it would be a wonderful thing for us to do here for our students," Gretchen Gfeller, the public relations coordinator at the Fogler Library says.
The two therapy dogs that provided stress relief Wednesday were Joey and Atticus, both handled by their owners who are doing this for free.
"We really believe in the power of our dogs, and the need for this. I wish more people in the community would train their dogs to the point where they could do this type of program. It really just benefits the community as a whole," Rebecca Henderson, owner of Renaissance Dogs in Holden says.
The total of seven dogs will rotate each day, staying for two hours.
This program all came about from a suggestion board in the Fogler Library.
"Earlier in the semester they had asked us if we could 'bring puppies', and at first I didn't think too much about it, but then the suggestion appeared again and again, so I thought let's look into this," Gfeller explains.
The success is evident, the students couldn't resist interacting with these furry friends.
"Everyone has been talking about this for weeks leading up to this event, and now that they're here we're so excited to have a furry little buddy help us through finals week," Senior Kim Stewart says.
If you missed seeing Atticus or Joey, there will be several other therapy dogs coming in through next Wednesday. However, the dogs will not be at the library on Saturday or Sunday.

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