Pawsibilities of Student Success At EKU

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Updated: 4/25/2012 11:17 pm

     "The college years are very stressful years," says Jen Walker, the Eastern Kentucky University Counseling Center Director.

     Cramming for final exams is "ruff" for many students...so what better time to turn to man's best friend for some support?

    That's the idea behind the Pawsibilities for Student Success event at Eastern Kentucky University.

     "This time we wanted to do something totally different to help them de-stress and to relax and get away from studying.  We have invited 13 therapy dogs to campus,' explains Walker.

     It's a way for students to unleash some test anxiety by getting their paws on these furry friends.

     "It kind of reminds them of home.  We've heard a lot of stories of people's pets and things that they've missed.  The dogs aren't here for any criticism or any advice.  They're just here to be petted.  It just gives them an opportunity to relax, clear their mind for a few minutes and then get back to studying," comments Lisa Lowe, a volunteer with Pawsibilities Unleashed.

     Wednesday's event was a huge success, more than 2,000 students came out to de-stress with the dogs.

     "It's calming.  They're loving and friendly.  It's like everything kind of melts away," says EKU Freshman Sherry Carpenter.

     "I have four finals next week and I'm super stressed and this is, like, the ultimate stress relief for me.  I miss my doggies so I'm super excited to be able to love on some," explains EKU Freshman Kimberly Epperson.

     "Finals are so boring and tight but when you're just playing with animals, you just let loose and have fun.  I'm just a lot happier now," comments EKU Freshman Kristin Vaughn.

     Because of it's popularity, EKU plans to hold this event again next year.

     If you would like more information on Pawsibilities Unleashed, go to www.pawsibilitiesunleashed.org/home

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