Therapy dogs make USM final exams less 'ruff'

Therapy dogs make USM final exams less 'ruff'

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - For college students, there's not much more tense than final exams week, so pups from the Southern Pines Animal Shelter were brought in Monday, December 8, 2014, to the campus of the University of Southern Mississippi to help ease study-related tensions. Whether its petting a poodle or coddling a cocker spaniel, the students at the university were treated to some tail-wagging therapy.

The pups were brought to the Honor House, located on campus, and allowed students an opportunity to de-stress as they enter final exams week. This has been a growing trend across all college campuses across the country, as benefits are readily apparent. Brooke Boisseau, a sophomore at USM, says that she found out about the program through the Honors College email that she receives and decided to attend.

"It made me feel so happy because I have a puppy at home and I haven't been home all semester so I miss her a lot and it's really nice to come here and relax before finals." said Boisseau, "I actually have a final in about an hour and a half and I feel nice and calm and focused and much more relaxed now."

Students who attended the seminar were excited and looking forward to playing with the dogs, some for the first time but many as pet owners that miss their furry loved ones living back at home. The event showed how connected people are with animals and the animals are connected with people.

Therapy dogs are trained to provide affection and comfort to people, and often visit hospitals and nursing homes.