The great illustrator of “Peanuts” fame, Charles Schultz, once said, “Happiness is a warm puppy.”
On May 7 at the UK University of Central Lancashire, students stressed out by impending exams will get a break from revision by having a cuddle with a puppy in a dedicated room.
The Guide Dogs charity will be providing puppies for the fully booked one-day event. Of course, the little pooches will get regular breaks throughout the three hours and will be with handlers at all times. A Facebook statement on their event page said: "The charity have worked previously with Lancaster Students' Union and these opportunities give the puppies a chance to get used to being around people, which is great for their development and training to be a successful guide dog."
After a bit of research on Google, I found similar events had been conducted in the USA over the last few years. Also, there were many puppy training schools available. Each site says puppy training techniques are ideal during the most critical development in a puppy's life, between the ages of 10 & 20 weeks, when most of the young dog's learning occurs.
In 2012, A Canadian university tried the new tactic to help relieve students from exam-time stress.
Dalhousie University filled a room on campus with puppies for students to visit and play with the animals between exams. The dogs were provided by Therapeutic Paws of Canada, a non-profit organization that trains animals to help people with therapeutic or practical needs. Other schools have had similar pet visits.
In 2014, school leaders at USA Park University enlisted the aid of pet therapy to soothe students.
The end of the school year represents the beginning of finals week for students. At the McAfee Memorial Library on campus, library leaders used pet therapy sessions to help students blow off some steam during this stressful time.
When I look into the eyes of a puppy, even captured in a photo, my heart melts. Add the softness of the animal's coat, and their cute antics to that sensation and I'm sure all stress would melt away.
I've lived with many dogs over the span of my life—Labrador, spaniel, sheep dog, Alsatian, mutt, beagle, basset-hound and greyhound. Only the basset-hound came to us as a puppy. We gave him every care and attention according to the breeder's instructions. Oh, those soft floppy ears. As an adult dog, Bradley traveled around Australia with our family in a huge caravan in the 70s. He'd sit on one of the facing bench seats in the back of the Land Rover along with the three children, taking in the sights and dribbling with doggy anticipation of romping through the long grass outside.
Can you think of a better way to calm your mind than holding a puppy? I'm sure you have a story to share about a dog.