To help students deal with the stress of exams Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia is opening a Puppy Room today.
Today, December 4th, the Puppy Room will open in the student union. “They can come in and sit down, they can pat the dogs, talk to the dogs,” said therapy dog owner Mark Grant. “That’s our hope – that the dogs will bring as much comfort to the individuals we’re going to meet as the individuals will bring to the dogs.” Grant’s St. Bernard Roc will be one of the dogs in the puppy room.
The puppy room will run for three days this week to help students deal with the stress of exams. The dogs are all being provided through Therapeutic Paws Canada. All the dogs are above the age of one and will be accompanied by their owners.
Dalhousie student Michael Kean pitched the idea to the university. He has friends at McGill University in Montreal that raved to him about their dog therapy program. “It’s a great idea,” said Kean. “There’s no downfall about therapy dogs. Students, we’re stressed out, don’t know what to do, and they’re fluffy. It comes down to that.” Once Kean pitched his idea it got overwhelming support from the student body.
The student union expects there to be large lines for the puppy room when it opens today. The interest has been so overwhelming that the Dalhousie Student Union has implemented a back-up plan. They will also have a shuttle service that will take students to the nearby Dartmouth SPCA so they can walk and spend time with the shelter dogs there.
If the trial run of the puppy room goes well, Dalhousie Student Union will potentially make the partnership with Therapeutic Paws and the SPCA into a regular thing.