Four-legged stress relief comes to UL-Lafayette

A little dog goes long way at exam time

“It’s nice not to have to think about anything. Just come and pet the dogs.” Jody Detillier, chemistry major

University of Louisiana at Lafayette students looking for a study break from finals found comfort in a trio of four-legged visitors to Dupré Library on Wednesday afternoon.

Golden retrievers Olive and CeCe and Henri, a Great Pyrenees, visited the library for a few hours to provide stress relief to students studying for finals.

Librarians on staff coordinated the study break for students with the idea the dogs would make rounds visiting tables of studying students — but students flocked to them as soon as they entered the library with small gaggles of students grouped around each animal.

Some students sat on the floor petting Olive, a golden retriever owned by Lizzy LaPointe. Olive was registered as a therapy animal in August and visits patients at Women’s & Children’s Hospital, LaPointe said.

The library’s outreach committee chose to bring in the dogs during finals after learning about similar events on other college campuses, said Emily Deal, UL-Lafayette distance learning and virtual services librarian.

Henri was the veteran among the group. For the past two years, Henri has visited nursing homes, hospitals and has helped numerous students improve their reading skills by listening to their stories, said Clothier.

And on Wednesday, the dogs did their job once again.

“This puts a smile on my face,” student Annie Perret said after spending some time with Olive. “I have been studying in the library all night.”

Finals began Monday, with Wednesday carved out as a mid-week study day with no final scheduled. Exams continue through Friday.

During finals, the library extends its hours and is open 24 hours, a service sponsored by the Student Government Association, said Perret, an SGA senator and sophomore majoring in business management.

Perret, 19, of Lafayette, said it’s not uncommon to see students camped out in the library during finals.

“I will most likely be here studying all night for my calculus test that is at 11 a.m. tomorrow,” she said. “I’m so happy the dogs are here because we’re all stressed out and tired. It’s nice to see some friendly faces and pet the dogs.”

Chemistry major Jody Detillier has two more finals before his semester is officially over.

“It’s nice not to have to think about anything. Just come and pet the dogs,” said Detillier, a junior from Matthews who is majoring in chemistry.

He and his friends, Jessica Walker, a sophomore secondary English education major, and Nicole Finger, a sophomore biology major, made a special trip to the library for the pet therapy break.

“It’s such a stress relief,” said Walker, 19, of Pineville. “They’re so sweet.”

Finger, 19, of Pearl River, has her last final Thursday.

“It’s been a stressful semester,” she said.