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Four-legged therapists surprise students at Lutheran West

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Posted at 3:48 PM, Dec 15, 2022

ROCKY RIVER, Ohio — No matter how long it has been since you’ve taken a final exam, you never truly forget just how stressful they can be. With that in mind, leaders and administrators at Lutheran West High School in Rocky River decided to surprise their students this week with a few four-legged distractions.

This week, the school welcomed several certified therapy dogs as Lutheran West students took their final exams. Even if only temporary, therapy dogs have been shown to lower stress and anxiety while also improving happiness and mood. Although the benefit is short-lived, it is well-suited for finals week.

“We see that the kids are really enjoying having the dogs here. It brings some stress relief for them. It brings some levity to their day,” administrator Jessica Miller said. “Some of the kids are stressed out about finals. Some of the kids are stressed out about anything else in their lives. The dogs being here is such a great way to relieve some of that stress.”

The dogs drew a large crowd on Thursday morning. As senior Christian Simpson walked the halls between classes, he was immediately curious.

“I was just wondering, ‘what are these dogs doing in the building?’” Simpson said. “Everybody is smiling in the hallways. Obviously, we have finals. Everybody loves to see a cute dog.”