One spring day during exams, a large crowd of students gathered in Vanderbilt Courtyard. It wasn’t the sunny weather that drew the students away from the library but two therapy dogs, mini whoodles named Emma and Finn, who were making themselves available for hugs, pats, and belly rubs.
The first therapy dog program at NYU School of Law came about through the efforts of Scot Goins ’12 and Lance Polivy ’13, the outgoing and incoming presidents of the Student Bar Association. “I’ve desperately missed having a dog since I moved to New York City, and during stressful times I sometimes travel to local pet stores or dog parks,” says Goins. He imagined that other students who had left their pets at home might feel the same way.
Inspired by learning of a therapy dog that visited the Yale Law campus during the fall, Goins and Polivy worked closely with the administration to organize four therapy dog sessions during exam period through the Good Dog Foundation. “As soon as we began publicizing it, there was just this tremendous response from students,” Polivy says.
Michael Stromquist ’14, who misses his family’s three dogs in Tampa, can attest to the puppy effect. Although he was harried and preoccupied by exams, he made a detour to stop and play with the therapy dogs for 15 minutes. Says Stromquist: “It made my day about a million times better.”
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