Posted 12/3/2012 12:00 am
Law school finals are stressful. Your Whispers staff knows this from bitter experience. The Bowen School of Law at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock has a unique plan to reduce students’ stress: therapy dogs and a therapy horse named Porsche.
The school is hosting the animals during reading week, which begins Wednesday, and finals, which stretch from Dec. 10-19. Test-takers can spend their appointments for “petting and hugging” with one of several different dogs in one of the law library’s large study rooms. The horse will be available across the street in McArthur Park.
“Two students are allowed per 20 minute session, so you may have to share a dog with another student or, if you would like, two of you may sign-up together. You can also reserve more than one time slot, just please don’t make them back to back,” June Stewart, associate dean of information services and library director, said in an email to students.
All animals are registered therapy animals provided by Pet Partners of Little Rock, Stewart’s email said.
Stewart told Whispers that she’d heard about the use of therapy animals by other law schools and loved the idea. Finals, Stewart said, are “like walking on eggshells.”
However, UALR has a no-animal policy, and it took her about 18 months from conception to approval, ultimately granted by Chancellor Joel Anderson.
As of press time, a handful of students had signed up for appointments with our four-footed friends.
“One student, when she heard Porsche was coming, immediately sent an email wanting to know when, because she loved horses,” Stewart said. “And one young man wanted to know if he could bring his children with him.”