Puppy Petting Perks Up Stressed Stonehill Students

December 12, 2012

Stonehill College offered a three-hour "puppy petting" session in the sports complex Wednesday to help students feeling the pressure of finals week.

"It's something I've always wanted to try," said health and wellness coordinator Jessica Greene.

"Students told me they missed their pets at home; it was nice to spend time with a pet here," she said.

The five Papillons - Tucker, Lexi, Bunny, Betty and Ripley - were donated by their owner, assistant director of student activities Patrick Keaney. Greene said she looked into professionally trained therapy dogs but didn't want to take a time slot from a children's hospital or nursing home.

Finals are a tough time for the health of the student body, Greene said.

"We see a lot of procrastination, which then breeds stress," she said, adding that students also have difficulty sleeping. "Students start to get sick when you're stressed out."

In addition to the puppy petting, Stonehill also offers chair massages and meditation classes for students during finals.