Dogs bring stress relief to area college students

Dogs bring stress relief to area college students

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by MICHELLE BOUDIN / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @MichelleBoudin

WCNC.com

Posted on February 5, 2014 at 7:11 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 5 at 10:20 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- It's hard not to be in a good mood playing with dogs, and a Charlotte area college is taking advantage of that, bringing dogs on campus to help students with stress relief.

It is crunch time at Wingate University on Wednesday.

Librarian Amee Odom says, “Things are starting to come due and their nerves are starting to get shot.”

Student Olrica Turnquest agrees. “I have a few papers and assignments that are due.”

But for the moment, none of that matters.

“It’s a nice chance to forget about the fact that I was going inside to study and I can just stand outside and pet them,” student Caitlin Lilly says while cuddling up to a tiny terrier mix.

Turnquest added, “I immediately feel the stress alleviating, these dogs are great. They make me happy because I’m really stressed right now. This is a nice little break.”

“That’s what it’s for and if that works for them, that’s what we’re here for,” says Susan Gagan, the owner of the biggest therapy dog on the Wingate quad. Galion is a 165 pound New Foundland that is pure sweetness.

The librarian came up with the idea and the dogs now visit campus regularly when students are most stressed. She says it’s a trend on college campuses now that started with the Harvard Law library.

Galion is learning a thing or to himself hanging outside the library.

His owner Gagan says, “Each time we go, he learns he’s not supposed to kiss but he says, ‘Ma, I’m trying!’”

We caught him kissing a student a few minutes later, so apparently Galion will have to study up on that no kissing thing.

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