For 13 years, Dog Tales have been helping students relieve the stress that comes with finals by bringing in therapy dogs to the Central Michigan University residence halls.
Dog Tales is a literacy program on CMU’s campus. They group often visits schools and libraries in Clare, Isabella and Gratiot counties for the program that helps children read one-on-one with the dogs.
Dog Tales participates in activities on campus with the dogs, such as Relay for Life, Special Olympics and Girls on the Run. The group also visits classrooms and takes part in several student conferences.
Around finals time, Dog Tales brings a group of trained therapy dogs into several residence halls for the students to play with and help relieve stress.
“It seems the crowds get bigger each year,” Elizabeth Lewis, a director of the Dog Tales literacy group, said. “Word has gotten around, and the students love the time with the dogs. It truly does work in reducing stress and giving the students a great break time from the studying and the stress of it all,”
There are a minimum of eight dogs at each event; however, for larger groups of people, the coordinators try to have up to 12 dogs around.
Each dog is properly trained and tested by the guidelines of Therapy Dogs International and registered as therapy dogs.
The dogs belong to the the volunteers of Dog Tales and surrounding cities.
Countless studies have been done since the 1980s that show that pets have enormous health benefits. Pets have been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, lower blood pressure and help people recover from physical injuries faster.
In a study conducted by the Maryland School of Nursing in 2008, animals trained in therapy can have positive effects in both mental and physical ways.
Each year, the crowds get bigger as students take a break from their intense studying and hang out with the dogs.
On Sunday, April 28, the dogs will start at Campbell Hall at 6 p.m., then head to Calkins Hall at 7 p.m., followed by Thorpe Hall at 8 p.m. The dogs will finish up at Wheeler from 9 to 10 p.m.
On Monday, April 29, Dog Tales will be at Robinson Hall at 7 p.m., followed by Trout Hall at 8 p.m. The last spot the dogs will visit is Larzelere Hall at 9 p.m.