Doggies and Doughnuts give students a break before finals

Bonding with four-footed friends brings a sense of calm

Photo/Mike Lovett
Who says studying for final exams needs to be stressful?

Certainly not Brandeis’ Psychological Counseling Center or the Multifaith Chaplaincy, which organized “Doggies and Doughnuts” on Dec. 10 to give students a fun reason to take a study break.

Students stopped by the Gosman Sports and Convocation Center’s multipurpose room to catch up with friends, eat donuts, drink hot cocoa and enjoy the company of a Maltese, Australian shepherd, Labradoodle, Cavalier King Charles spaniel and micro Labradoodle.

“I never need an excuse to see a dog, but this is a great time of year with finals here,” said Miranda Hurtado-Ramos, a first-year from Houston. “They’re really friendly animals and are very calming, and it really reminded me of home by making me think of my own dog, Scout, who I’m so excited to see after my exams.”

That sense of feeling home is a common yet powerful side effect to spending time with pets that can relieve stress, according to Joy von Steiger, the senior associate and clinical director of the Psychological Counseling Center.

“Studies demonstrate that spending time with animals brings your heart rate down and can feel very soothing,” said von Steiger. “A number of students have told me how much they feel like they’re at home because of these dogs.

“We want to help students manage stress at this time of year, but also wanted to help build community. Students are sitting together and socializing, but are bonding together over these puppies.”

Categories: General, Student Life

Return to the BrandeisNOW homepage