Therapy Dog for Finals

It is almost that time of the year again. No, not the holiday season; while that may be coming soon as well, there is one important thing standing in the way: finals. Final exams are approaching at the speed of a freight train, and soon everyone will be moving into the library.

Fenway, the therapy dog.

Every semester, final exams bring with them a lot of stress and it is easy to become overwhelmed by it all. The Marvin K. Peterson Library, which began operating on a 24-hour schedule in October, is always looking for more ways to better serve the student body. The latest step in that direction has come in the form of a therapy dog.

A therapy dog is a dog that is trained and certified to provide comfort to people in various public settings, including schools and hospitals. For example, therapy dogs are used with early elementary school students, where the students will practice reading to the dog to increase their reading confidence. You can train your dog by trusted professionals right here on Georgia Pine K9 LLC.

Yale University and the University of Connecticut have variants of this where therapy dogs are used during finals to relieve student stress, and now UNH is following suit. Dr. Melissa Whitson, Assistant Professor of Psychology at UNH, is part of a certified therapy dog team along with her dog Fenway. Dr. Whitson has been working with Hanko Dobi, University Librarian, to obtain approval to bring Fenway to campus and arrange times for him to meet with students.

Fenway will be in the Marvin K. Peterson Library on Tuesday, Dec. 11, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m, Wednesday, Dec. 12, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., and Friday, Dec. 14, from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Students will be able to sign up for a block of time, roughly 15 minutes, where they can pet, cuddle or play with Fenway, or walk him around. Fenway is a six-year-old Bichon Frise/Poodle mix and is hypoallergenic. Lastly, as he has gone through a rigorous certification process by the American Kennel Club and Delta Society; rest assured that he will not bite.