Roxy and I recently visited with several students from Emory Law School with our pet therapy group, Happy Tails. It was final exam time and the Emory Law School set up a special room in the law library so students could visit with the dogs throughout the day.
As an alumna, I remember how stressful final exams can be… your entire grade falls solely on your performance on just one test. Now that’s pressure! Then add to that today’s rather dismal job market and the stress level rises ever further. I volunteered for 4 days of visits because I wanted to share the stress relieving effects that spending a few moments with a dog can bring.
The students signed up for 20 minutes sessions with the dogs and they were just the right answer for the situation. Wagging tails, soft eyes, and few gentle licks brightened the day for the students, the law library staff and the dogs!
I think the students even learned a few lessons from their visits with the dogs.
Lesson 1. Take Naps. We live in a fast-paced society that doesn’t value the power of unplugging. Learn from your dog and take time to catch some zzz’s to replenish. Ridgebacks are great nappers. Napping can improve your health and it may also help you learn.
Lesson 2. Find Something You Love. Roxy could chase squirrels and run all day, every day. It never gets old for her. So find something you love and just do it –over and over! Not only will you feel joyful each time, but you’ll also get better at your passion the more you practice.
Lesson 3. Shake It Off. Bad things happen. Dogs live in the moment and don’t ruminate on the past. Whether you’re in a challenging circumstances or simply had to do something you don’t enjoy, try to shake it off and move forward. The sooner you do, the sooner you’ll be able to enjoy the present.