Therapy dogs relieve students’ stress during midterms

Nothing is more calming than petting a puppy and Daisy, Samson, and Jackson were the dogs for the job.

The Hunt Institute for Engineering and Humanity partnered with volunteers from the Heart of Texas Therapy Dogs to help relieve students’ stress during their midterms Wednesday morning in Caruth Hall.

Students stopped by in between classes to play with the dogs. Some students even had tests that day.

“I have two essays and a midterm due today,” first-year mechanical engineering major Benjamin Lin said.

Lin sat on the floor with a 3-year-old Australian Shepard named Daisy, rubbing her belly. The two had met last semester when The Hunt Institute held a therapy dog visit during finals.

Students gathered around Daisy. Photo Courtesy of The Hunt Institute Program Manager Corrie Harris.

Groups of students gathered around each dog. Alexis Forte, a senior environmental engineering major and Resident Assistant for Moore Commons, was excited to be able to fit the event into her busy schedule.

“I’m actually doing an event similar to this in about a month for my residents,” Forte said.

Heart of Texas Therapy Dog Jackson Photo credit: Alexis Kopp

The volunteers also helped relieve some students’ stress. They sat with their dog and talked about what was going on in each students’ life.

“They spend just as much time talking to the student as the dog does loving on the student,” Program Manger at the Hunt Institute Corrie Harris said.

Students pet Samson while his handler talks to the students about their coursework. Photo credit: Alexis Kopp

The Hunt Institute for Engineering and Humanity is committed to working on poverty alleviation on a global scale as well as within the Dallas community. As Program Manager, Harris also looks within the campus community, especially within the Lyle School of Engineering, when planning events.

“I kind of look at the community here at SMU as one of the communities we try to serve,” Harris said.

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