Monday, 7 December 2015

Let's just look at dogs - we've earned it!

Puppy therapy

Ah, exam time, that wonderful part of the year where everything gets put on hold, laundry piles up, and the promise of a few weeks of nothing but sleep and Netflix are so close, but so far away. (Although, isn’t that what we do during the term too?)

Kidding aside, exams are an incredibly stressful time. Whether it’s your first year as a university student or your tenth, there’s still an aura of tension across campus during the last few weeks of the term. It’s interesting to see how people combat stress during this time.

Studies have shown that animals are able to help alleviate stress and anxiety, and after going to one of the Furry Friends events in Cameron Library myself, I can say this is true for me. So, here's what you likely came here for: pictures of cute dogs! (And, as a bonus, a few random facts about dogs... because, why not.)

dogs @ UAlberta

Fact: The only sweat glands a dog has are on its paws. Part of the way dogs cool down is through panting.


Dealing with exam stress - dogs

Fact: The Newfoundland breed has a water resistant coat and webbed feet. It was initially bred to help fisherman and for rescues.


dogs and exams

Fact: An American Animal Hospital Association poll found that 33% of dog owners admit to talking to their dog on the phone or leaving messages for them.


Furry Friends

Fact: Dogs are sensitive to the earth’s magnetic field. A recent study shows that when there is little variation in the magnetic field, dogs tend to poop along the north-south axis. Under an unstable magnetic field, this behaviour would not occur.


relaxing with dogs

Fact: A dog’s sense of hearing is more than 10 times more accurate than that of a human. With this heightened sense of hearing, there are frequencies humans cannot hear that dogs can. In fact, the song “A Day in the Life” by The Beatles has an extra high pitched whistle added in after the song. This is only audible to dogs, and is spliced in with some studio chatter.


The amazing thing about spending time with happy, social pets is you can almost watch the stress melt away. People would come in tired, stressed, or shy, and a dog would run up to them ecstatic to say hello! You could see the stress leave, and over time people were happy, laughing, and meeting new pet lovers at the same time. It just goes to show you how much community there really is at the U of A, and this is another excellent way to help us remember that the struggles of university are normal, and that it’s okay to feel stressed out. It’s also okay to relax from time to time and have some fun!

On that note though, if you ever do find yourself feeling overwhelmed with school, PLEASE don’t be afraid to talk to your colleagues, or seek help from the services provided by the university and the Students’ Union.

Dean of Students Mental Health Resources
Peer Support Centre (780-492-4357)
The Student Success Centre (If you need extra study help)
Counselling and Clinical Services (780-492-5205)

The next Furry Friends will take place on December 9th from 11:30-1:30 at Cameron Library. 

Also, if you happen to be walking through CCIS on a Tuesday or Friday – you should peak in the Science Student Service Office to see if Ruby the Science Dog is around!



Albert is a final year MD/MBA student. When not at the books, he enjoys playing guitar, squash, dancing, cooking, travelling, and adrenaline sports. As a kid, Albert would often throw up whenever startled, to the dismay of haunted house employees. With a stronger stomach, he intends to try unique food on every continent.

Special thanks to Karen Xu for providing a camera and taking a few photos!
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