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You Can Check Books Out, Why Not Dogs?

Monty is a new addition to the Yale Law Library. He can be checked out, along with the books, in thirty-minute increments. In March of 2011, a test was ran with Monty to see what the students thought. Monty is a border collie-terrier mix, hypo-allergenic and eleven years old. As a certified therapy dog belonging to the library's access librarian, Julian Aiken, Monty is comfortable being around and handled by a great many strangers. He was fully booked within hours of the option becoming available. Monty was even given a Library of Congress classification.


Many college students who are pet owners have the added stress of being separated from their dog(s) for the first time in their lives. If cuddle time with the canine was one of their favorite means of stress relief, they lost that when they moved to attend college. Thanks to Monty, they got it back, even if only for thirty minutes. There were skeptics who didn't believe that Monty could cure anybody's anxiety, but they signed up to spend time with him anyway.


The Yale Daily News ran an article on Monty's therapeutic work and pronounced it and him a rousing success. Everybody who got face time with Monty said they hope he becomes a permanent fixture at Yale Law. He garners tons of attention, even when he's just taken out for a walk. For dog lovers, even seeing a dog provides some measure of stress relief.

Not all students who checked Monty out perceived it as a therapeutic endeavor. One student just wanted to escape the daily grind of life as a Yale Law student. Monty loved him for the bacon he brought and remained on his lap after the bacon was gone. That's canine love for you.


Yale Law wasn't the first school to implement this idea to relieve stress for their students. Many schools have done so, and handled it in different ways. For instance, at Tufts they had many dogs come in with many students. They were all in one open area. Some interacted with the dogs, hugging and petting, while others sort of sat on the sidelines and enjoyed watching the interaction. Harvard has "de-stressing with dogs" programs during finals, as does UC San Diego. They don't have an actual dog that belongs to the library, so they bring in about 12 dogs, with the event attracting around 50 students.


The need for therapy dogs is on the rise. As the mental health community realizes how important the link between humans and canines is, there value for people to spend time with someone who will love them unconditionally is immeasurable. This is a job tailor made for canines. They live to love and expect nothing in return. Therapy dogs see everybody as a potential friend.


Information written by Helen Stewart of, check out our diverse collection of stainless steel dog dishes online.



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