In the heat of midterm exam season, students campus-wide at UW-Madison are feeling the stress.
The all-nighters at College Library and game day tailgates are adding up and they need an outlet for their anxieties.
The university has recognized this and has teamed up with the nonprofit Dogs On Call which specializes in promoting the bond between dogs and people in an effort to help stressed students forget about their worries as they cuddle with dogs.
“Having a therapy dog is good therapy for us too. We have so much enjoyment coming out here and seeing the young people enjoy it, seeing the retired people in nursing homes – sometimes they don’t have a visitor all week long and we come in and they just love the dogs.”
Student demand has caused the program’s relationship with the non-profit to grow to over 70 visits to UW-Madison in the last year.
“Like my stress level- like when I was walking here I was talking to my roommate and I was like ‘I’m just like so wound-up right now and I just need to relax and I came here and I started petting one of the labs over there, her name is Morgan she’s four-years-old. And I automatically just kinda came down to a whole, relaxed level.”
These therapy animals not only help students and patients, but also bring a smile to their handlers.
“I never meet an unhappy student or one that doesn’t smile or one that doesn’t say ‘thank you for coming.’”
Dogs on Call will continue to have visits at UW libraries, dorms, and various other locations. For their schedule be sure visit their website dogsoncall.org.