University of Victoria student Danya Smith gets some love from Pacific Animal Therapy Society pitbull Jake during UVic’s annual De-Stress Fest.

University of Victoria student Danya Smith gets some love from Pacific Animal Therapy Society pitbull Jake during UVic’s annual De-Stress Fest.

Play with a dog, lose exam stress

Twenty-one dogs, from Edie a pug-miniature pinscher, to Frost, a Kuvasz the size of a donkey, greeted a constant stream of students

The buzz emanating from a thick lineup of students spilling from Cadboro Commons on Wednesday afternoon would have anyone assume a rock show was about to go down in the University of Victoria building.

Instead: puppies.

Twenty-one dogs, from Edie a pug-miniature pinscher, to Frost, a Kuvasz the size of a donkey, greeted a constant stream of students who showered the canine visitors with pats and giggles during Doggy Playtime.

For two hours students were invited to join the event as a means of relieving some stress in the week leading up to final exams.

“When you live in res, you don’t have that access (to pets),” said Boma Brown, a member of UVic Student Ambassadors, event co-organizers. “That’s one thing we’ve been hearing: ‘I miss my puppy so much.’”

Toni Garrett, a member of Pacific Animal Therapy Society (PATS) and former long-time co-op counsellor at UVic, was among the crowd with Lucy, her cavalier King Charles spaniel.

Garrett, no stranger to student stress, added Lucy to her family with the intent of designating her a therapy dog and has delighted in bringing her to all three of the Doggy Playtime de-stress events that have been held thus far.

“She was really excited when she came in,” Garrett said, while a student knelt down to gush over her dog. “It’s very gratifying work.”

Dogs from Broken Promises Rescue, Citizen Canine and the general community also joined in the playtime.

The De-Stress Fest began this week with free hot chocolate, breakfasts at the Graduate Students’ Lounge and free chair massages.

It was set to wrap up today (Friday) after Santa rides his sleigh around campus.

Unwilling to reveal full details of the De-Stress Fest planned for the spring exam period, Brown confirmed it will likely involve some meditation, a little cotton candy and of course, more of the doggy playtime.

To learn about PATS, visit patspets.ca.

nnorth@saanichnews.com

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VicPD is warning the public after a man paid $460 for fake gold jewelry. (Unsplash)
Police issue warning after Victoria man pays $460 for fake gold jewelry

Suspects flagged victim down and took him to ATM

The Oak Bay Police Department has announced plans to purchase the municipality’s first electric marked police vehicle. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Electric police vehicle could soon be patroling Oak Bay streets

Oak Bay police plan to purchase first marked electric police vehicle in 2021

Andrew McBride is among those who deck out for Sea of Lights floating ship parade annually. (Black Press Media file photo)
Pandemic sinks Royal Victoria Yacht Club’s Sea of Lights

Oak Bay club encourages donations to the charities event supports

Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre likely won’t be hosting a farmer’s market originally scheduled for Central Saanich after all after municipal staff in Sidney did not issue the necessary license.
Proposed farmer’s market for Sidney likely to be cancelled

Market was scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 5 in the parking lot of Mary Winspear Centre

The Sooke Christmas Bureau, which serves over 400 hampers to families and residents in need, has extended their deadline to include anyone in need that has missed their Dec. 1 cutoff. (Black Press Media file photo)
Sooke Christmas Bureau extends deadline for hampers

Non-profit group says monetary donations goes further than non-perishables

(AP Photo/Paula Bronstein)
POLL: Has COVID-19 changed your plans for the holidays?

The lights are going up, the stacks of presents under the tree… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 1

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Pixabay)
Canadians’ mental health has deteriorated with the second wave, study finds

Increased substance use one of the ways people are coping

A coal-fired power plant seen through dense smog from the window of an electric bullet train south of Beijing, December 2016. China has continued to increase thermal coal production and power generation, adding to greenhouse gas emissions that are already the world’s largest. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
LNG featured at B.C. energy industry, climate change conference

Hydrogen, nuclear, carbon capture needed for Canada’s net-zero goal

An RCMP officer confers with military rescuers outside their Cormorant helicopter near Bridesville, B.C. Tuesday, Dec. 1. Photo courtesy of RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey
Good Samaritan helped Kootenay police nab, rescue suspect which drew armed forces response

Midway RCMP said a Good Samaritan helped track the suspect, then brought the arresting officer dry socks

People line up at a COVID-19 assessment centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Scarborough, Ont., on Wednesday, December 2, 2020. Toronto and Peel region continue to be in lockdown. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19 vaccine approval could be days away as pressures mount on health-care system

Many health officials in regions across the country have reported increasing pressures on hospitals

(Needpix.com)
Pandemic has ‘exacerbated’ concerns for B.C. children and youth with special needs: report

Pandemic worsened an already patchwork system, representative says

Most Read