VIDEO: Dog therapy helps stressed-out Dundee students to chill

Befriending a group of lovable dogs proved to be the perfect antidote to mounting coursework for students in Dundee.

Volunteers from Canine Concern Scotland Trust were welcomed to the Abertay University library on Bell Street to offer a unique way to de-stress from studies.

© DC Thomson
Penny licking the face of a student,
© DC Thomson
Sheba a Collie Poodle cross with the students,

Students, many of them approaching course deadlines and preparing for looming exams, queued up for the chance to hang out with dogs at the Paws Against Stress event.

Greyson the great dane, Barclay the jackadoodle, Penny the golden labrador, Sheba the collie-poodle cross, and Buffy and Bella the miniature schnauzers were all brought in to spread joy in the library.

Delighted students were given the chance to play with the dogs and interact with their owners during the event, which aimed to use the therapeutic qualities of canines to provide much-needed breaks between bouts of revision.

Broughty Ferry volunteer Tom Miller, owner of Penny, has been taking part in pet therapy events for 30 years.

© DC Thomson
Penny a Labrador with the students,

The 76-year-old said: “Penny and I have been doing this for three years. I have been involved with companion animal therapies for many years. She (Penny) likes all this, loves it.

“All companion animals will help people with stress and blood pressure, things like that. It is just some sort of connection when you touch them, you feel this kind of warmth and calmness coming out. They are non-judgemental.

“Penny works with patients who have had brain damage. She’s very tolerant.”

© DC Thomson
Grayson the great dane.
© DC Thomson
Barclay a Jackadoodle

Dundee volunteer Jennifer Bird and her dog Grayson have been taking part in Canine Concern Scotland Trust projects since January.

She said: “He’s so friendly, he loves a cuddle. We call him the velcro dog, no matter where you are in the house he likes to be close by. He loves a good cuddle and he loves his ears to be touched.

“We go up to Royal Victoria Hospital in Dundee and we visit patients that are recovering from operations and stress and strokes and things like. He certainly helps.  You can see it for yourself, look at the smiles on the students’ faces. They’re loving it.”

Third year business and human resources management student Demi Carr, of Dundee, said: “It gives you a chance to come away from everything and not have to think about studying, even for 20 minutes. It’s lovely to come and see them.

“With exams coming up it’s just nice to know there is life outside assessments and deadlines and everything that is going on.”

First year law students Rachel Hirst and Igor Imsirovic said the event was the perfect antidote to their workload.

Mr Imsirovic, 17, added: “It really helped me kind of calm down and it was really enjoyable. After this everything is so much better. I knew this was really going to help out in de-stressing out.

“We have final exams coming and all these deadlines that we have to do, it is really good that we can kind of get our minds off of it.”

Miss Hirst added: “I don’t understand how you could be stressed now (after this).”

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