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Who Let the Dogs In at Rivier University?

An experimental program is bringing in therapy dogs to help students beat the stress of finals.

Getting some pet therapy on Dec. 4: Juniors Victoria Bellemore, Juliana Hebert, and Jillian Mailloux, and senior Katie Duggan. Courtesy photo
Getting some pet therapy on Dec. 4: Juniors Victoria Bellemore, Juliana Hebert, and Jillian Mailloux, and senior Katie Duggan. Courtesy photo

Students at Rivier University are being urged to "paws" from the stress of finals with a dog therapy break. 

There will be nine therapy dogs and their handlers visiting the on-campus Regina Library between Dec. 2 – 12 for a total of 19 dog therapy sessions, at least once a day. 

There will be eight different breeds represented. They include: Cheyenne - an Alaskan Malamute (125 lbs); Bella - a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel; Bailey - an Irish Wolfhound mix; two Golden Retrievers (Orla and Luas); Teddie - an Australian Shepherd mix; Zolah - a Rhodesian Ridgeback; one huge Newfoundland named Sampson; and an English Springer Spaniel named Ruby.

The program is in conjunction with New England Pet Partners, Leash on Life and Tufts Paws for People  (all agencies overseeing therapy dog training and certification).

This activity is work for the dogs. For most of them it will be the first time they are on a college campus. The dogs typically visit hospitals and hospice. They ride elevators, are used to loud noises and love the work they do. 

All of the handlers are excited to be introducing their dogs to this type of work and to Rivier University. 

Therapy dogs are known for their comforting outreach – from hospitals and nursing homes, to Ground Zero in New York City –  where they provided comfort to survivors of 9/11. 

Come by and see the therapy dogs in action. Schedule is posted with this story.

Regina Library December 09, 2013 at 10:06 AM
The dogs have been great! We would recommend this for any other university or hospital looking to reduce their patron's stress levels...

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