Puppy Love During Finals? Tufts Goes to the Dogs to Combat Stress

Tufts resident director brings in therapy dogs to help students combat stress.

ByABC News
December 6, 2010, 10:32 AM

Dec. 17, 2010— -- Exam season is a rough time for most students -- but nothing a wagging tail and cold nose can't fix.

That's what a couple hundred students at Tufts University outside Boston have discovered this semester thanks to a new therapy dog program brought in by their resident director Michael Bliss.

"It works so well to make students feel at ease during the stressful finals season," he said.

He knows from experience. Dogs were brought in to New York University when Bliss was an undergrad. When he interviewed at Tufts for the director position, he told them it was a program he wanted to bring in and expand.

"It was so simple and easy," he said.

At Tufts, they brought in six to eight dogs during mid-terms in October, working with a licensed therapy dog organization, Dog Bones, in Boston.

"We had the room busting open with about 100 people just to see six to eight dogs," Bliss said. Some of the students sat and petted the dogs the entire time. Others hung back and took pictures and chatted with friends. But everyone, he said, went away happier.

"There's just something about the inherent happiness of dogs," Bliss said. "I think students can tap into that and feel that energy."

Michael Bliss spoke with ABC's Ron Claiborne for today's Conversation. We hope you'll watch to learn more.

Watch more "Conversation" videos here.

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