COMFORT DOGS: Putting Life In ISU ‘Dead Week’

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If you`re a college student, the week before finals is among the most stressful of the year.

The hope is that a new program at the Iowa State University library will help take away some of that stress.

During Dead Week, the library is a place you’d expect to find students focusing their attention but on something other than...

“It’s the highlight of my week already," says junior, Andrew Leeper.

Call them “Comfort Dogs.” Call this a four-legged, floppy-eared study break. Call Mindy Moeller’s idea a huge success.

“We could have definitely had more dogs scheduled," Moeller said, "but I had no idea it was going to be this huge.”

There’s a line out the door to get in. There are students like Elvin Phillips who’ve returned for a second day.

“I never had a pet as a kid," he said, "so I take every opportunity I can get to pet these dogs.”

UCLA’s depression research program found that animals can reduce tension and improve mood.

But don’t take their word for it.

“I mean it’s a nice break from studying,” said senior Christina Sloan.

“Well it looks like it definitely works!” Leeper laughed.

Fancy is a Certified Therapy Dog and then there's Ty.

“He’s doing great, can’t you tell?”

He’s only ten months old.

“He’s not certified yet," said his handler/owner, Carey Segebart, "he’s not old enough, but he’s on his way.”

So Ty helps the students study and they do the same for him.

“The dogs love it, too, you can tell," Moeller said. "They just keep going around and around the circle with the students.”

Suddenly, smart phones aren’t so interesting and for college students, that’s nothing to sneeze at.

The ancient connection between best friends is in full effect and both seem the better for it.

Now, if only this focus can carry over into finals.

The comfort dogs were handled by members of the Cyclone Country Kennel Club. The dogs will be back at Parks Library at 1 p.m. Wednesday.



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