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'Puppy Day' Is Best Law School Stress Relief Idea of All Time

Illustration for article titled Puppy Day Is Best Law School Stress Relief Idea of All Time


During finals week, students often need an outlet that isn't crying onto a pile of notes until they drown to death in their own tears. Luckily, George Mason University's Law School has instituted a policy that benefits both students and lonely homeless pups— Puppy Day. It's exactly what it sounds like.

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The day combines stressed, lonely law students and floppy, warm rescue puppies, and a whole lot of d'awwww. The puppies are provided by an animal rescue group that saves West Virginia shelter animals from euthanasia. All of the pups currently live in foster homes.

Cuddly puppies help law students de-stress before exams [WaPo]

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DISCUSSION

At one point in graduate school, I was so depressed that I didn't know what to do (in part because of subtle sexual harassment and inability to progress in my research due to avoiding the people who were harassing me). I went to the university's counseling services and the counselor asked if I had any pets, since that tended to help people deal with stress. At the time, I did not, but it put an idea in my head.

I started looking for dogs, but not "for real," since I was not allowed pets by my lease. I asked my roommate how he'd feel about a secret dog, and he said he'd be okay with something very small. My parents indicated they wouldn't mind hiding a secret dog on occasion, but they didn't seem convinced that I'd actually go through with it.

And then, on a whim, I took a ride to a local animal shelter. The girl who met me at the gate asked what I had in mind. I said, "I want an adult, house trained and quiet and small." And she said, "Let me introduce you to Mannie." And there he was, small and awkward and so ugly he's cute. I couldn't get in touch with my roommate, but she told me I could foster him. To see if it worked out.

It worked out. I've had him for 2 years now. I'm not depressed. I managed to get out of the lab I was in and into a more productive environment. I'm taking my general exams in January, and I intend to defend sometime in 2012 (I'd have a more solid date on that, but my code doesn't work. Yet).