AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) - As students cram for final exams at the University at Buffalo, some four-legged friends are helping them stay relaxed and forget their stresses - at least for a little while.
To try and keep students from becoming overwhelmed, the university's Health Science Library is utilizing therapy dogs. This is the third semester that UB has teamed up with local service-dog groups. Students come in waves to sit with, pet and even get licked by man's best friend.
Group organizers say they really can see a change in students' attitudes and the dogs help students clear their thoughts.
Linda Lohr of UB said, "We had seen it being done at some other institutions and we think that students are so stressed that we really wanted to give them a break. So we did it the first semester and it really went over big. The students were so happy about it."
Pat Quinlan of Paws for Love said, "They come in and say, 'Where's the dogs, where's the dogs?' And they pet, they just pet. And they want to tell you about their dogs they have at home, too. I think it reminds them of home and just helps them out."
That comfort and love that dogs give and show, especially during tough times, is exactly why some students came down here.
Exercise Science major Ken Wojnowski said, "There's always a lot of stress levels with exams and when you're worried about a lot of stuff so it's good to come and pet the dogs. Especially if you have dogs at home that you can't go home and see. It's nice to come over and pet Half-Pint here."
Half Pint, Max and Hannah were a part of Wednesday afternoon's session. For the next few days, a variety of service dogs will come to be with the students. Many students say they'll be back to see the dogs as well. The program runs every afternoon through the end of the week.
Other universities are planning to start a similar program, and dog therapy is also being used at primary and high schools, area hospitals and doctors' offices.
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