Wagging away anxiety

Therapy dogs delight Mount students during mid-semester crunch
March 09, 2017

Jake, a yellow lab, helps students de-stress at the Mount’s Kaplan Family Library and Learning Center. 


With midterms lurking, the days leading up to Spring Break can be a demanding time for the Mount Saint Mary College community, but trained therapy dogs provided a break for students, faculty, and staff on March 8 at the Kaplan Family Library and Learning Center.

The animals, dressed in festive St. Patrick’s Day costumes, came to the Mount via Hudson Valley Paws for a Cause.

Research has indicated that watching, petting, or talking to an animal can lower blood pressure and heart rate. Interacting with animals can also reduce mental distress, and lower anxiety levels – for example, during midterms for college students.

“The dogs are comforting for the students during this stressful time of year,” explained Orin Strauchler, assistant dean of Student Support Services and director of counseling. “This event makes the students feel a little less tense and tired.”

The popular event has become a tradition at Mount Saint Mary College.

“Wagging Tails Stress Relief” was co-sponsored by the Mount Saint Mary College Kaplan Family Library and Learning Center and the college’s Counseling Center.