Ca­nine ther­apy helps stressed-out stu­dents

Re­vi­sion and course­work put on hold as lov­able dogs take over univer­sity li­brary

The Courier & Advertiser (Dundee Edition) - - NEWS - BLAIR DING­WALL bd­ing­wall@the­courier.co.uk

Be­friend­ing a group of dogs proved to be the per­fect an­ti­dote to mount­ing course­work for stu­dents in Dundee.

Vol­un­teers from Ca­nine Con­cern Scot­land Trust were wel­comed to the Aber­tay Univer­sity li­brary to of­fer a unique way to de­stress from stud­ies.

Stu­dents, many of them ap­proach­ing dead­lines and pre­par­ing for ex­ams, queued up to hang out with dogs at the Paws Against Stress event.

Greyson the great dane, Bar­clay the jack­adoo­dle, Penny the labrador, Sheba the col­lie-poo­dle cross, and Buffy and Bella the minia­ture schnauzers were all brought in to spread joy in the li­brary.

De­lighted stu­dents were given the chance to play with the dogs and in­ter­act with their own­ers dur­ing the event, which aimed to use the ther­a­peu­tic qual­i­ties of ca­nines to pro­vide much­needed breaks be­tween bouts of re­vi­sion.

Broughty Ferry vol­un­teer Tom Miller, 76, owner of Penny, said: “Penny and I have been do­ing this for three years.

“All com­pan­ion an­i­mals will help peo­ple with stress and blood pres­sure, things like that. It is just some sort of con­nec­tion when you touch them, you feel this kind of warmth and calm­ness com­ing out.”

Dundee vol­un­teer Jennifer Bird and her dog Grayson have been tak­ing part in Ca­nine Con­cern Scot­land Trust projects since Jan­uary. She said: “He’s so friendly, he loves a cud­dle. We call him the vel­cro dog – no mat­ter where you are in the house he likes to be close by.

“We go up to Royal Vic­to­ria Hos­pi­tal in Dundee and visit pa­tients re­cov­er­ing from op­er­a­tions, stress and strokes and things like that. He cer­tainly helps. You can see it for your­self, look at the smiles on the stu­dents’ faces. They’re lov­ing it.”

Third year busi­ness and hu­man re­sources man­age­ment stu­dent Demi Carr said: “It gives you a chance to come away from ev­ery­thing and not have to think about study­ing, even for 20 min­utes.”

Minia­ture schnau­zer Buffy with stu­dents at Aber­tay Univer­sity li­brary in Dundee.

Pic­tures: Kim Cess­ford.

Penny the labrador greets a stu­dent. Top right: the vol­un­teers and their pets ar­rive ea­gerly at the li­brary.

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