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Therapy dogs ease stress of exam week at Poynter Memorial Library

Therapy dogs like this one will be at the Poynter Library Wednesday.

Therapy dogs like this one will be at the Poynter Library Wednesday.

Therapy dogs will be at the Nelson Poynter Memorial Library on Wednesday, Dec. 12, to help students with the stress of exam week.

Seven to 10 dogs from the Pinellas County chapter of Therapy Dogs International will be in the café area of the library Wednesday from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Regional Chancellor Bill Hogarth waived the normal restrictions regarding dogs on campus for this event.

“We’re always looking for ways to help students be successful and we saw this as a new way to reach out to them,’’ said Carol Hixson, Dean of the Poynter Library. “Judging by the response we’ve gotten, there seems to be a lot of interest.”

There will be a variety of dogs — German shepherd, border jack, Samoyed, two Labrador retrievers, a curly-coated retriever — Joann Rechtine of Therapy Dogs International Chapter 256 told tbo.com.

“It’s uplifting for the handlers and the dogs, rewarding for all of us,” Rechtine told tbo. “It’s pure fun.”

Providing therapy dogs is one of several ways USFSP is helping students during exam week, including extended hours at the library and the University Student Center, free late-night breakfast served by USFSP administrators Tuesday night and late-night coffee and cookies Wednesday and Thursday.

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