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University of Guelph students Take A Paws from stress of exams (10 photos)

Event uses therapy dogs to help de-stress students

David Soliman got a little taste of home Thursday at the University of Guelph.

Soliman, a first-year animal biology student, was one of 400 University of Guelph students who signed up for Take A Paws Exam Stress Buster, where students in small groups got to interact with a handful of trained therapy dogs.

"It's cool. I like it. It actually helps and it's a great way to start the day," said Soliman. "It reminds you of all your pets at home."

"The Library does an amazing job organizing this event and students love it," said Peggy Pritchard of the St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog Program.

Four sessions are run every exam period, two times a day for two days, and registration always fills up quickly.

A new partner this year is Therapeutic Paws of Canada, whose dogs are also trained, experienced therapy dogs.

"The students get to visit for 15-minute periods and chill out with the dogs: pet them, cuddle with them and just relax," Pritchard said. "They return to their studies feeling much more relaxed and much more optimistic about themselves."
This is the fourth time the library has hosted the event, with support from their campus collaborators, Ontario Veterinary College and OVC Pet Trust.