The Library played host to some very special guests on Monday-Wednesday of Finals Week. Jake, a certified therapy dog and his owner/handler, retired Milligan College Biology Professor Dr. Julia Wade, were here for three mornings last week to help students cope with the potential stresses of final exams.
“In recent years, therapy dogs have been popular in educational settings,” says Dr. Wade. “Children who have trouble reading aloud in front of a class can read to a therapy dog without fear or anxiety. The dog does not judge or talk back, and is an excellent listener. They are counselors with fur! In 2009, colleges and universities started using therapy dogs to relieve stress in students studying for final exams.”
Jake is a Golden Retriever certified through Therapy Dogs International. He also passed the test to become an American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen. Jake and Dr. Wade have been involved in this rewarding mission for about three and a half years.
“I wanted to combine my love of dogs with a respect and admiration for those in the medical profession by volunteering to visit hospital patients who might need an emotional lift. God’s Word teaches us that it is important to help those who are in need. About a month ago, I visited a lady from ETSU who said that they sometimes had therapy dogs come to their library the week of final exams to de-stress students preparing for those exams. It occurred to me that Jake might come to Milligan College for an hour or two during exam week and let the students pet him.”
“I am so glad that Dr. Wade contacted us about having Jake come to Milligan College,” said Gary Daught, director of the library. “He was an instant hit with the students! I hope Jake will come back and visit us again–maybe at the end of Spring semester.”