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Therapy dogs coming to Hope campus

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BOW WOW WOW — Hope’s Counseling and Psychological Services plan event with therapy
dogs to de-stress students during finals week. (Hope College)

Are finals staring to build up some worry and stress? Looking for a break from the pressures of this past school year? It is important to find an activity to relax and get rid of the weight of finals. Look no further, as a de-stressing cuddle buddy is coming to the students of Hope College.

On Tuesday May 2 from 12-2 p.m. in the DeWitt Student and Cultural Center lobby, 14 therapy dogs from West Michigan Therapy will be made available to Hope College students during their final exam week.

The idea to first bring in these therapy dogs began as a collaboration with Hope College Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) and the West Michigan Therapy Dogs, Inc., which began in 2001.

The dogs are brought in as one of the many de-stressing techniques CAPS offers Hope College students during their final exam week.

The success from bringing in these dogs has been very apparent to the students and faculty.

“It’s always packed. Usually if you are there, there’s about ten students around every dog. It’s packed for two hours,” said CAPS Office Manager, Jody Sheldon, who has organized the event every year.

According to Sheldon, the dogs range from small to large and varying breeds for everyone’s preference.

“It’s a nice distraction for students,” said CAPS Clinical Psychology Clinical Coordinator, William Russner, PhD. “We always joke that the dogs are better therapists than us.”

According to Russner, not only students are welcome to come play with the dogs, but faculty as well.

Along with the therapy dogs, many other de-stress activities are made available to the Hope students during the final exam week.

Some of the other activities include: “Brinner,” which is a study break where students are offered breakfast for dinner, arts and crafts, bubble stomping, meditation, balloon animals and the main event, therapy dogs.

Nothing gets rid of that overwhelming stress like a dog trained to love. Take even the smallest break to come play with the dogs. Good luck to all students as they head into finals. Study hard everyone. You all got this!

For more information, refer to Any questoins can be sent to Jacklynn Malson at

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