On Wednesday, hundreds of students left the Sports Complex in good spirits despite the stress of final exams quickly approaching. To help provide some relief from this often tense time for students, Health and Wellness Coordinator Jessica Greene arranged a "puppy petting" session.
"I heard about the idea through my New England Health Educator Network group a few years ago and since then, had wanted to bring this to Stonehill's campus," says Greene. "The program has a very simple and unique approach to stress reduction- let students relax and spend time with a canine who wants nothing more than to give and receive love and attention from an adoring person."
On Wednesday afternoon, students poured in and out of the Sports Complex for a chance to unwind between studying for their finals which begin on Friday. Throughout the afternoon, students tweeted pictures of the puppies.
"This was a nice way for us to provide a little comfort that reminds our students of home and gives them a chance to take a break from their studies at the same time," says Greene.
The five papillon puppies, named Tucker, Lexi, Bunny, Betty, and Ripley, belong to Assistant Director of Student Activities Patrick Keaney.
Pet therapy is widely used in nursing homes, hospitals and other settings and has become increasingly popular. One of the earliest studies on pet therapy, published in 1980, found that heart attack patients who owned pets lived longer than those who didn't. Another early study found that petting one's own dog could reduce blood pressure.
Puppy petting was one of just many activities the Health and Wellness Office arranged this week to help students cope with finals stress. Other activities students can take advantage of this week include free yoga , cardio, and Zumba classes, aromatherapy, chair massages and a smoothie give a way.
Final exams begin this Friday and run through Friday, December 21.
For more information, contact Communications and Media Relations at 508-565-1321.