Therapy Dogs At Local High School to Help Students Relieve Stress During Finals

FRESNO, Calif. - A local high school is trying something new during finals, therapy dogs on campus. Students at Buchanan High School will have the chance to relieve their stress and anxiety by interacting with the dogs before taking a test next week.
Ginger is a five year old Pomeranian whose a part of "Therapeutic Dogs International." She's been trained to calm people when they're feeling stressed or anxious.
Ginger's handler, Bob McCollister says they up and down the state to meet with students during finals.
For the first time, at Clovis Unified School District, therapy dogs will be on site at a high school to calm students before taking a test. Wendee Winter is the school's nurse and believes having the dogs there will help students focus.
"It decreases our blood pressure, it decreases our cortisone level, it puts us more in a relaxed state so you'll then be able to do what you need to do," Winter said. 
Universities and other education institutions throughout the U.S have seen success using these programs. Students will leave 15 minutes early at the end of their review class to meet the dogs before taking a test.
"They'll have a chance to be able to just sit down and just pet them so there will be several students around each dog. They'll be able to talk to their handlers just to get their minds off the test that will happen a little bit and then they can take their test," Winter said.
McCollister says this type of interaction is also beneficial for the dogs "It's rewarding because you get to see your dog in action and the smiles that you see and the thank you for being here."
The deadline to submit an application was Wednesday. By lunch time more than 40 students had already submitted one.

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