Fur love at Nielsen Library

(12-12-2013)

students with two dogs

A tummy rub can go a long way in alleviating the stress of finals week. Moose and Gracie welcomed Adams State University students to leave books, computers, and study hours behind and relax in the unadulterated affection only dogs can provide.

Human Performance and Physical Education majors Sophia Cobos, sophomore, and Sami Marcolina, junior, sat between the dogs and soaked up the gentle comfort. "They remind me of my dogs back home," Cobos said. Taking time away from final exams, Marcolina viewed life through a "cute lens" for a release from stress.

Gracie, a ShihTzu, and Moose, a St. Bernard/Heeler mix, went through therapy certification with their owners, Dr. Linda Christian, professor of teacher education, and her husband, Paul; and Dr. Laura Bruneau, associate professor of counselor education. "Moose has such a gentle personality," Bruneau said. "I knew he would make a good therapy dog."

The animals were both rescued from shelters. "I called about Moose the day after he was scheduled to be euthanized," Bruneau said. "Fortunately, the staff member recognized he was a dog who needed a little more time to be adopted." Christian said Gracie was in an enclosure with 75 Rottweilers and Pit Bulls. "She was happy to have us take her home."

Gracie goes daily to the Evergreen Nursing Home and Moose spends a couple hours a week at the Alamosa Elementary School and has struggling students read to him.

Mary Walsh, reference librarian, contacted Christian and Bruneau about hosting the animals in the library for this semester's final week. Last spring the dogs provided stress relief in the Student Union Building. "We had over sixty students visit Moose and Gracie during the last three days," Walsh said.

Visit  Animals 4 Therapy  for more information on therapy dogs.