East Central University brings in therapy dogs for finals week stress relief

Published: Dec. 5, 2019 at 6:47 PM CST
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With the holidays approaching, it is a stressful time for many, especially college students cramming for those final exams.

Students at East Central University in Ada took a pause from their studies Thursday before they dive into finals week next week.

Freshmen Holly McHenry and Paige Carter were two of around 100 students to swing by the library.

"It's almost finals and I'm stressing out," Carter said. "I wanted to pet a doggo and just feel good about myself today."

"I love dogs so I wanted to come see them," McHenry said.

The three collies, Rocket, Bailey and Jack, are therapy dogs.

They are trained by the non-profit a New Leash on Life to be in large crowds and offer stress relief from elementary-aged kids to people living in nursing homes.

Debbie Wilkerson grew up in Ada and attended ECU.

She says this is the fourth time to bring her dogs to campus.

"So this was something that I was kind of passionate about was being able to come to East Central with my dogs and share them with the students that are going through testing and not being with their pets," Wilkerson said.

Wilkerson said working with therapy dogs is rewarding and enjoys visiting as much as the students.

"If you can share yours with people who aren't as fortunate or can't have one full time, it makes it all worth it," Wilkerson said.

The students said they plan to return next year for more relaxation and stress relief.

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