Puppies invade Lawrence Tech campus, help melt away stress ahead of final exams

Posted at 8:17 PM, Nov 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-01 21:06:38-05

Students on the Lawrence Tech campus in Southfield are getting a chance to blow off steam and relieve their anxieties thanks to “De-Stress Fest.”

It’s part of a growing trend on college campuses across the country, a week of events for college students to take part in to calm their nerves ahead of final exams. On Wednesday, LTU students were greeted with wagging tails and barks of joy from therapy dogs brought to campus.

“I saw one dog walking over and I just followed it to the puppy party,” said Dana Novak, laughing as she pet a black lab named Grace. “Having dogs on campus is wonderful, I wish they were here year-round.”

Novak said the dogs are a big help to relieve stress.  She saw the dogs immediately after leaving a biomechanics class where she took a test. The night before she stayed up studying until 4 a.m. She told 7 Action News that she woke up the next day to take a pre-test at 8 a.m. and then immediately went to class to take the real thing.

“Yes, this has been a stressful week,” said Novak.

Kathie Whitehouse, the President of Mid-Michigan Therapy Dogs, said she’s always loved bringing the dogs onto college campuses.

Whitehouse owns a handful of the dogs that came to Lawrence Tech on Wednesday. She said that it’s fun to watch the stress melt away when the dogs visit.

“Good ole fur therapy is the way to go,” joked Whitehouse.

She said that stress is a serious issue for people of all ages. While a lot of students say they feel a lot of pressure thanks to deadlines, papers and their looming future, Whitehouse said she sees stress everywhere she brings the dogs.

She noted that they often will bring therapy dogs to a hospital for the patients and she’ll notice that nurses, doctors and other workers will flock to the dogs because the stresses of work wear on them.

“We’re all so connected now,” said Whitehouse, “It’s supposed to make things easier, but I think it stresses them out.”

Whatever the reason, the dogs seemed to help if only for a day during “De-Stress Fest” at Lawrence Tech. The week isn’t over either. On Thursday there will be a tea time, and an iceless ice skating event for students to attend.