There’s a new counselor on the staff at Loyola University in Chicago, and he’s helping students cope with everything from homesickness to the stress of final exams.
He’s a 5-year-old black Labrador retriever, named Tivo, and he’s on duty every day at the university’s Wellness Center.
Seeing a need for a therapy dog, Loyola last year asked Tops Kennels in Grayslake to help find a candidate. The kennel suggested Tivo, who, after some additional training, became a certified therapy dog.
He’s on duty from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m, and lives with the Rev. Justin Daffron, Loyola’s associate provost for academic services.
Already immensely popular with students, college officials expect Tivo to stay busy in the week ahead, the Chicago Tribune reports. Final exams start today at Loyola, and Tivo has a way of helpling students, at least for a moment, shed some of the stress that builds up.
“They’ll come in, pet him, he’ll wag his tail, lick their faces, if they want their faces licked,” said Joan Holden, associate director of the center. “If you’re a dog lover, being with a dog makes you feel better. He’ll show his tummy, wag his tail — all the things to make you feel good.”
But Tivo doesn’t just sit in an office all day, according to an article about him in Inside Loyola.
“We use Tivo with patients for calming, for outreach in the residence halls, and to be sent out with a human counselor in hopes that students can come and pet the dog as a way to connect with the Wellness Center outside the office,” says Diane Asaro, the center’s director. “It is our first time trying it, and he has already gotten such a positive and wonderful response.”
Tivo also serves as a surrogate pet to the many students who are missing the dogs they left behind, noted David deBoer, associate director and clinical psychologist at the Wellness Center.
“Tivo really serves as a comfort, pleasure, and joy for college students; a friendly reminder of the comforts of home,” he said.
Students can keep track of where “Talk With Tivo” sessions are being held through his Facebook page.
(Photo: Tivo gives some counseling to student Marc Rosenbaum; by Mark Beane / Loyola University Chicago)
Posted by John Woestendiek April 29th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, chicago, colleges, counseling, dog, dogs, exams, final, homesickness, labrador, loyola, pets, retriever, stress, students, talk with tivo, therapy, therapy dogs, tivo, universities, university, wellness center
At the Yale University Law Library, you can check out ”Legal Alchemy: The Use and Misuse of Science in the Law.” You can check out “The Supreme Court A to Z: A Ready Reference Encyclopedia.”
Or, you can check out Monty, a terrier mix whose mission, in an experimental program started this month, is to de-stress, during final exam time, the litigators of tomorrow.
You’d think a genius farm like Yale University would have figured out sooner — as some smaller and lesser known colleges have — that dogs can, physically and emotionally, help students through troubled or stressful times.
But, for the school whose mascot is an English bulldog named Handsome Dan, it’s better late than never.
In the pilot program, students can check out Monty – a 21-pound “certified library therapy dog” who provides 30-minute sessions of what ABCNews describes as “unconditional, stress-busting puppy love.”
“The interest in available slots has been high,” said Jan Conroy, a spokeswoman for Yale Law School.
In a March 10 memo, law librarian Blair Kauffman said she hoped the free, three-day pilot pet therapy program would be “a positive addition to current services offered by the library … It is well documented that visits from therapy dogs have resulted in increased happiness, calmness and overall emotional well-being.” The memo directed students to the website of Therapy Dogs International for more information.
The school has yet to decide if the program will be ongoing. Likely, it being Yale Law School, there are liability concerns — the type that are known to paralyze bureaucracies and often limit the good dogs can do, based on mostly baseless fears.
Monty, for example, though he is said to be hypoallergenic, will hold his visits in a “designated non-public space” in the library to eliminate “potential adverse reactions from any library user who might have dog-related concerns.”
Concerns have also been expressed about the sign-up list for Monty being in a visible spot. That, the overly fearful fear, results in students having to expose their need for a mental health session — or at least some time with a dog — in public.
Monty — whose full name is General Montgomery – belongs to librarian Julian Aiken. And the pilot program got started after a Yale legal blog jokingly suggested making Monty available for checkout.
Therapy dogs have been introduced at Tufts University in Massachusetts, Oberlin College in Ohio and UC San Diego to help students get through the pressures of mid-terms and finals.
Posted by John Woestendiek March 25th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, dog, exams, experimental, final, general montgomery, julian aiken, law school, law students, lawyers, legal, liability, librarian, library, mental health, mid term, monty, oberlin, pets, pilot, program, relief, stress, students, therapy, therapy dogs, tufts, university, yale
A blood bank for dogs has been launched for the first time in India.
The blood bank has been set up so that middle class dog owners can get treatment for pets injured in road accidents, which are becoming more prevalent in the country due to increasing urbanization and traffic.
“This is the first blood bank of its kind in the country,” Vice Chancellor P. Thangaraju, of Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University in the city of Madras, told the BBC.
“Dogs get frequently injured – not only while crossing roads but also in and around the many multi-story apartments that exist across the country,” he said.
Dr. Thangaraju said that the lack of availability of blood has become a major cause of death among dogs, especially when the animals require surgery.
He said that appeals for volunteers to come forward and donate blood from their dogs had been “encouraging”, although he expected it would take some time before a satisfactory reserve had been built up.
Although there are no plans at present to make the blood bank a profit-making enterprise, he said it could happen in the future – depending upon the availability of blood.
He said that the collection and storing of canine blood was the same as the process used to collect human blood and that stringent measures would be taken to ensure that donated blood is free from infection.
Figures produced by the university show that about 100,000 pets – the overwhelming majority of which are dogs – are treated by veterinary hospitals every year in India.
Experts say that the blood donations, while they will benefit dogs kept as pets in India, will be of little help to the estimated 8 million stray dogs in the country.
Posted by John Woestendiek April 29th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accidents, animal sciences, animals, bank, blood, dogs, donations, india, injured, injuries, madras, news, ohmidog!, pets, road, surgery, tamil nadu, traffic, university, urbanization, veterinary
Remember those fiberglass dogs displayed around Lafayette, Indiana as part of an outdoor art exhibit — the ones that, between vandals and thieves, weren’t always treated too kindly?
They’ve gone on to raise $24,000 for the Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine and the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette, co-sponsors of the “Dog Days of Summer” exhibit.
More than 150 people bid on 25 of the the life-sized artworks over the weekend, Channel 6 in Indianapolis reported.
Forty-one painted and decorated dog statues were placed in outdoor sites around Lafayette and West Lafayette in the exhibit, though many were later moved indoors after theft and vandalism.
Only one dog, Alfie the Alpha Dog, was too damaged to be preserved.
Organizers and art lovers, though dismayed that the statues weren’t safe in the community, said they are pleased with the auction results.
Posted by John Woestendiek October 7th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: art, artworks, auction, bids, damage, decorated, dogs, fiberglass, lafayette, money, purdue, raised, school of veterinary medicine, statues, tgheft, university, vandalism, veterinary, west lafayette
I’m not going to make fun of this study. I’m not going to make fun of this study. I’m not going to make fun of this …
Ah, I can’t resist.
If that sounds like a no-brainer — one of those things that perhaps man could figure out without an expensive study – consider this: “An early look at the data shows that the dogs who walk the most steps have a better body condition score.”
In all fairness, there’s more to the study than determining whether exercise is good for us and our dogs; and dog walking habits could, if properly approached, make for some pretty interesting reading.
Basically, I see three types of dogwalkers: Those who jog with their dogs, clearly getting exercise; those who hike or walk laps with their dogs, also getting exercise; and those who take their dogs to the park and let the dogs get all the exercise while they sit on the bench, yap with fellow dog walkers, smoke, or talk on cell phones.
In defense of the latter group, it should be pointed out that we they, are still getting exercise by virtue of walking to the park, and that, rather than being total slouches, they may prefer to let their dogs playfully romp and socialize off leash with other dogs — thereby getting even more exercise (the dogs, anyway) than they would by being walked in boring circles on a rope.
It should also be pointed out that members of the more sedentary latter group — while violating leash laws — are also allowing their dogs to gain social skills, and, perhaps, honing their own in the process.
But back to the study. Cornell researcher Barbour Warren says they are analyzing everything from how much dogs and humans actually walk together to human attitudes, and the decisions to walk the dog or not walk the dog.
“We’re trying to get people to make small changes in the amount of food they take and the amount of physical activity they take,” says Warren, “and finding out how dog walking might be involved and how typical veterinary practices might be involved in helping more.”
Warren says the study stems from the rise of obesity in the USA and obesity-related illnesses, including cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and arthritis. More than two-thirds of the people across the nation are overweight and one third are considered obese. Dogs are increasingly falling into those categories as well.
“We became interested in trying to prevent weight gain,” he says. “Dog walking offers two of the key elements for regular physical activity, purpose and companionship. Dogs can provide both of these in spades.”
The goal of the study is to develop the necessary data and tools to build a program to combat obesity by increasing dog walking as a form of family exercise.
Posted by John Woestendiek August 18th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: cornell, date, dog, dog walking, dogs, dogwalking, exercise, humans, obesity, overweight, research, skills, social, socialize, study, university, walking, weight gain
We often hear of dogs finding their way back home, but it’s even more impressive when that dog is a statue.
The artwork, called “There is Honour in Being a Dog,” was taken May 20 from outside the east entrance of Purdue University’s Lynn Hall of Veterinary Medicine, according to the Journal & Courier in Lafayette.
Cox said it appeared that someone used a wrench to unbolt the piece, which is part of “The Dog Days of Summer,” an outdoor exhibit put on by the Purdue Veterinary Medicine Department and the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette.
John Cox, chief of the Purdue University Police Department, said an officer spotted the dog late Wednesday on one of the floors of the Northwestern Avenue parking garage, not far from where it was removed from its concrete base and taken.
“We’re guessing that the dog was in someone’s apartment and they got scared. It probably had a lot to do with the news coverage of the missing dogs,” Cox said Thursday. “We do appreciate that it came back undamaged. It means a lot to the art foundation.
” … From what it looks like, someone waited until no one was in the garage and took the dog out of their car and set it there.”
“Honour” is one of 41 decorated dogs in the exhibit, which celebrates the 50th anniversary of the veterinary department and the 100th anniversary of the museum .
“It’s in excellent condition, just a small scratch by its ear, but it should be easily touched up,” said Kevin Doerr, a member of the Dog Days of Summer committee and director of public affairs for the veterinary school.
At least three dogs in the exhibit have been taken, and some vandalized. ”Alfie, the Alpha Dog” was stolen on May 10 and remains missing. “Give a Dog a Bone” was stolen the same night but was later found in some shrubbery.
“Dog Days” runs through October, and the dogs will be auctioned off when it ends.
Exhibit officials last week removed 18 dogs from the Purdue campus and West Lafayette sites because of a series of thefts and vandalism. Those and the one recovered Thursday are being stored indoors until safer ways can be found to place them back on display.
Posted by John Woestendiek May 31st, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: art, artwork, dog, dog days of summer, exhibit, indiana, lafayette, purdue, returned, statue, stolen, university, veterinary deparment, west lafayette
To better understand the human mind, scientists ar Harvard University are looking to dogs.
Through a newly established Canine Cognition Lab, researchers hope to learn whether domestication has led to dogs that think and act more like their masters, or whether that’s all in our heads.
“Here’s this species we live with. Everyone has their views about how smart they are. No doubt we are overinterpreting – and in some cases underinterpreting,” said Marc Hauser, a Harvard professor who has long studied cognition in cottontop tamarin monkeys and who heads the new lab. “To what extent is an animal that’s really been bred to be with humans capable of some of the same psychological mechanisms?”
Hauser is recruiting both purebreds and mutts and running them through simple tests aimed at determining, for example, whether they understand such abstract concepts as “same,” according to a recent Boston Globe article.
The new Harvard lab represents a turnaround in the scientific community, which has long looked primarily toward chimps for clues to human behavior.
“Psychologists have been ignoring animals that were sleeping quietly at their feet while they were doing work on rats and pigeons,” said Clive Wynne, a psychology professor at the University of Florida who also studies pets. “Darwin wrote about his dog … We couldn’t bring ourselves to take them seriously.”
In one of the tests at Harvard, researchers tried to determine whether dogs can use pictures as signs to figure out which bucket contains food. They presented Celia, a German shepherd, with a choice between a bucket marked with a picture of steak and one marked with a pair of pliers. Celia picked the steak.
Katie Levesque, Celia’s owner, said she tries to give her dog challenging tasks at home but was surprised that her dog picked pictures of food three times, also choosing a hot dog over a hammer, and three biscuits over one.
“I was kind of laughing,” said Levesque, who sat in a corner of the room with Celia at her feet during the experiment. Owners can also watch their dogs from behind a one-way mirror. Only about 20 dogs have been tested, so it’s too early to draw conclusions about dogs’ comprehension of pictures.
The Canine Cognition Lab is recruiting dogs. Check its website for more information.
Posted by John Woestendiek April 30th, 2009 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abstract, animals, canine, cognition, concepts, dog, dogs, domestication, fairness, guilt, harvard, humans, lab, marc hauser, pets, psychology, research, science, shame, sharing, study, university, what dogs think
Researchers at an Australian University say young children in households with dogs are less likely to be overweight or obese.
The Deakin University study is of particular interest because Australia, like America, has a growing childhood obesity epidemic.
The study of more than 1100 children aged five to 12 found they were slimmer and healthier if they had a dog, even if they did not walk it regularly, according to a report in The Age, an Australian newspaper.
The findings suggest even incidental play with a dog helps children keep weight off, said Jo Salmon, the head researcher and an associate professor at the university.
“For parents who are trying to get their kids off the computer and switching off the TV and getting out and playing, having a pet might be a really good strategy for doing that,” Professor Salmon said. “Social support for physical activity is vital, so this research suggests the extended family network â€” not just parents and siblings but also dogs and pets â€” is important for children’s health and their physical activity.”
The study, published in the Health Promotion Journal of Australia, follows a previous paper from the same researchers that found young girls who owned a dog were physically active for 30 minutes more than those without a pet.
Posted by John Woestendiek October 15th, 2008 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, australia, childhood obesity, children, deakin, dog, dogs, fitness, health, kids, news, obesity, pets, study, university, weight, weight loss