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CSUSB offers dog therapy during finals time

CSUSB students are being offered a chance to bond with living, breathing stress relievers in the days leading up to finals.

November 29, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
All next week, California State University San Bernardino students will be cramming a semester's worth of knowledge into an hours-long final exam.

For many, it can be a stressful time filled with anxiety, so CSUSB is throwing students a bone with the help of 15 furry specialists.

The dog therapy program Pet Away Worries and Stress, or PAWS, got its start three years ago and has grown in popularity.

"I learned about it from other universities that they use pet therapy as a means to decrease stress, decrease anxiety, especially before finals hit," said Carlos Carrio, CSUSB's health education director.

"I think it is calming or it helps with the stress, petting a dog and sitting down," said student Stephanie Espinosa.

Students not only de-stress by petting their stress away, but they can also learn some helpful tips from their peer health educators.

If that doesn't work, they can always go next door where for 10 minutes they can receive a massage.

Communications major Riley Booras is one of the many who has taken advantage of the free massages before hitting the books.

"It's a good way to prep you for the stress that is going to be coming our way," he said.

Five-hundred to 600 students are expected to partake in the event.

While it may not help them ace their exams, the doggie therapy is greatly appreciated.

"I miss my dog, he's tiny, but there was this really big one that made my day," said freshman Jennifer Vargas.

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