Dogs de-stress Manitoulin Secondary School students at exam time

LEFT: Manitoulin Secondary School students enjoyed playing with Paws Pet Therapy Manitoulin Chapter dogs during exam time to help calm their nerves.

M’CHIGEENG—What can students do to lessen the stress of cramming for exams? The answer just might be found in a best friend—the four-legged variety.

Dogs give unconditional love, and for students dealing with test-time anxieties, dog therapy can help.

Last week, 10 dogs and their handlers from Magical Paws Pet Therapy Manitoulin Chapter came to the school to visit with the students in the cafeteria. Dog therapy delivered in this method is fast, cheap and practical, because the dogs are mobile. Therapy dogs are taught to remain calm–not to react to loud noises and to be gentle with all human interactions. Students can pet or hug the dogs. Smaller dogs can cuddle in their lap.

“It was fun to watch the students interact with the dogs today and to watch how their demeanour and body language almost changed instantly when making contact with the dogs,” stated Julie McDermid, a Magical Paws leader. “Our therapy dogs enjoyed the energy and the attention that the students lavished on them and for just this short time the dogs allowed the students to leave the thoughts of exams behind them.”