Ivy League Therapy-Dog Program is a Model for the World


Therapy dogs like Pippa help Yale students combat the stressful nature of attend such a high-powered institution.
Photo via The Yale Daily News

Yale University is world-famous for its quality education and an impressive list of graduates, which means that expectations are high for students at the Ivy League school. And with those expectations also comes high levels of stress. As a way to help students, the library at Yale Law School brought in a therapy dog named Monty, in spring 2011. Students could “check out” the dog, just like a book, and play with him for awhile. By now, we all are aware of the therapeutic nature of spending time with a daog, and the idea has caught on at schools around the world:

“We have come to realize that [the dog-therapy program] is something that is very important, in terms of students’ mental health and happiness,” said Julian Aiken, the law librarian who started the program and owns Monty. “For a lot of students it’s their first time away from home and they do miss their home comfort — families, pets. More and more schools are recognizing that [the program] is a small step towards helping with that … We want students to know we appreciate them as people, not just as students.”

Yale has expanded its program to the medical school, as well, and the director of that program gives presentations on how these dog-centric stress-relief programs can help.

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