What happens when a bunch of college students are facing the pressure of the end of a school year and the stress of exams? Well, at Rensselaer Polytechnique Institute last week, they got the opportunity to relax with a very special group of therapy dogs.


 My friend Sally is the organizer of certified therapy dog visits at universities including the State University of New York at Albany, Main campus and East Campus, Russell Sage, and RPI. She invited me to go along and help out at an event at RPI, held at Theta XI Fraternity.

About 16 dogs were available for hugs and cuddles. Students crowded in all day, and some stayed for hours. I was impressed by how the students made themselves comfortable on the grass and visited with the handlers, asked questions about the dogs, and talked about their own dogs they missed back home. Some of the dogs performed tricks for groups of students, who laughed and clapped.


Other students enjoyed one-one-one time to hug and spend quiet time together.

 I was impressed with the students, their openness, kindness, and respect for the dogs. I enjoyed watching their smiles as they spotted that special dog they wanted to get to know–from little white dogs with bows

to huge, furry, working dogs.

I’m delighted that I got to see this program in practice. Therapy dog visits for college students is an excellent program, as anyone can tell after seeing all these happy students relaxing and smiling, all because of the unconditional love of some special dogs. Just check out the rest of these pictures of the students and dogs:

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