In order to help stressed out college students survive their final exams, universities are starting to bring specially-trained emotional support dogs and cats to campuses. For just a few minutes, muddle-brained students can crawl out of the corner of the library that they’ve inhabited for three solid days without bathing or sleeping and pet a puppy. While I’m not sure this will help anyone overcome a semester worth of skipping classes, anything is worth a shot. You may not be one equation closer to understanding astrophysics, but you’re one fuzzy kitten less stressed about flunking out.
While this is a fine idea, there are a couple of issues here. What about the student who is allergic to animal dander? Instead of spending those crucial last hours memorizing the names and locations of every star in the galaxy along with its atmospheric density, some poor kid is scratching hives, blowing snot, and trying to find their Benadryl through swollen, weepy eyes. The idea of bringing allergen-free emotional support snakes seems to really work against the whole idea of relieving stress and it lacks the same universal appeal as baby bunnies. So, I’m not exactly sure how you balance that.
I have a dog at my house, but if anyone needs some emotional support, it might be Buster. He’s really old now, so he’s confused about a lot of things. And to be honest, when you’re old and lost in the backyard, stress builds up pretty fast. So I guess I need to get him an emotional support squirrel, right? Except squirrels practically send him into apoplectic seizures, not to mention what it does to the squirrel. Then I’m dealing with an unstable, geriatric dog and a yard rodent in stroke mode. Explain to me again how this is helping anyone.
If you ask me, this whole thing is over-rated and way out of whack. Find me an emotional support animal that can pour a glass of wine, cook a nice dinner, run the laundry and file my taxes. Otherwise, you’ve got AA dogs trying to play in the majors. As for the college kids, maybe study more and party less and you can face your exams without sobbing in the fur of someone else’s dog. Oh, and good luck with finals.