During this semester’s finals week, Therapy Dogs International will be coming to Paley Library, where students can cuddle up with dogs as a stress reliever.
The canine friends will be available for visits on Dec. 9 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Dec. 10 from 2 to 5 p.m. and Dec. 11 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Room 0021 of Paley Library. There will be three or four dogs at each of the sessions, accompanied by their owners and handlers. Faculty, staff, students and guests are all welcome to participate. Students will not be required to fill out any documentation as the Office of Risk Management has already signed off on the event.
“Think of your typical final day – you might have two or three [finals] back-to-back,” Kathy Lehman, supervisor at the Paley Library Circulation Desk and Reserve, said. “Imagine taking a break between two of them and just rolling on the floor with a big fluffy dog and feeling sort of happy and relaxed and positive. I think it probably generates a lot of positive feeling and makes people think about, their families and their pets and going home.”
Lehman, an event organizer, was inspired to bring Therapy International Dogs to Temple’s campus after her neighbor, an undergraduate engineering senior, told her about the company. After doing research about the past events the company has held, Lehman decided to give it a try.
She believes it is a fail-safe solution for high stress levels during finals week.
“Saint Joseph’s and Drexel University have both done this before and are continuing to do it and I think that’s what will happen here,” Lehman said. “The idea will be people can just come in and play with the dogs or cuddle with the dogs, whatever they want to.”
This event marks Temple’s first year working with the Therapy Dogs International. If it is popular enough among students, the university plans to continue it annually during finals.
“People are really happy to go to these events and take their dogs to these events,” Lehman said. “I would imagine it’s pretty fantastic to take your dog to a children’s hospital or a library and just make people happy. I think it will be really popular and I think we’ll end up doing it every semester – that’s my hope.”