Therapy Dogs Help Students Decompress During Finals
Nursing students Hailey (left) and Bianca take a break from studying to play with the therapy dogs.

Therapy Dogs Help Students Decompress During Finals

The Southwest Canine Corps of Volunteers visited CNM campuses to help spread joy and reduce stress levels during finals week.
April 16, 2019

Preparing for finals week can be a stressful time for students. The all-nighters and constant studying can take a toll on the mind and body. But a pack of four-legged heroes came to the rescue to help alleviate stress and anxiety for students.

“We are finishing up some major projects right now and I’m feeling a little stressed,” says Nursing student Bianca Rodriguez. “These littles guys are definitely helping to reduce my stress. I’m so happy and relaxed right now.”

The therapy dogs from the Southwest Canine Corps of Volunteers have all been specially trained to help ease human angst. The pups have to demonstrate a high-level of restraint and cannot display any aggression towards humans or other dogs.

“They have to complete a comprehensive training camp and pass a test in order to be official therapy dogs,” says David Howard, a therapy dog handler.

Two Sox, David’s canine therapy partner, is a seasoned therapy dog and loves belly rubs. During the visit he and the other therapy dogs got to enjoy a “puppy latte” (a small shot of whipped cream).


Hailey Hendricks, also a nursing student, says that after days of non-stop studying it’s a relief to get a break and hang with the therapy dogs.

“Usually we will spend all day in the library cramming and studying away but it’s nice to have a day where we can just come and sit with the dogs and enjoy their cuteness and company,” Hailey says.

David says that interacting with the therapy dogs helps increase serotonin, the “happy chemical,” levels in the body. He also says that the dogs offer a beneficial distraction to the students, providing a momentary but valuable break from the stressful week of finals.

“It’s just a way to help spread happiness,” he says. “These guys love their job. They get all the attention and love they want right here.”