Health Alert 12-13: Dogs Helping Relieve Stress

By: Angela Howard
By: Angela Howard

Students pack the library at USF-St Pete for what's between the bookshelves. We're talking about a pack of therapy dogs that are on campus to help students let go of some of the stress that comes with finals week. They also remind some students of someone they've missed all semester.

"I have two dogs at home that i haven't been able to see for a while so coming here and playing with some dogs made me really happy," said student Ashley Hibbs.

All of the dogs have good homes. In fact were at the school with their owners. It's a pet partnership so to speak. Owner and animal working together to help other people.

Therapy dogs international visits nursing homes and hospitals.

"I started doing this because my father had leukemia and he was in the Cleveland Clinic and I was spending a lot of time away from home," said Joann Rechtine with Therapy Dogs International.

She hopes her dog makes others feel comforted on lonely, worried nights.

"Every time I would go out on the street and see a dog I would go out on a street and love on that dog. It just made me feel better"

But does it work on finals? The proof is in the puppy love.

"The dog understands. You understand. They have a special connection," said student Allan Pinkerton.

"The positive uplifted energy will just relax me because i get really nervous on tests," said Hibbs.

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