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Pets (12 posts)
In my day, college students dealt with high levels of finals-week stress the old-fashioned way: drinking and crying. But apparently there is a better way. George Mason University School of Law offered its students a rare respite from the stress of upcoming finals with its second Puppy Day. According to the Washington Post, “Studies have found that the legal profession has higher-than-average rates of depression and problems with substance abuse. Many law schools now teach students how to balance the stress of late-night legal research, tort outlines and case summaries with healthy habits: running marathons, volunteering or hanging out with a pet.” (Running a marathon? Really?)
So the school brought in 15 puppies for these future lawyers to snuggle. The mixed-breed puppies were saved from euthanasia by A Forever-Home Rescue Foundation, and are living with foster families. As one third-year student, who didn’t go home for Thanksgiving so that she could study, said, “‘Especially this time of the year, law school seems to ruin your life...[holding a puppy] you get to be human again.’”
We may not all be law students, but everyone can relate to that
end-of-your-rope feeling, especially this busy time of year. And stroking a soft
animal seems like the kind of stress-relief anyone can love. For more ways law schools are helping their students to destress, read the entire article at the Washington Post (via Jezebel).
According to naturalist Mark Derr, there's no real consensus on how exactly dogs evolved from wolves. As he told NPR, Derr himself believes that humans and wolves developed a close relationship after recognizing themselves in each other while hunting on the trail of big game. "[That's when] they started traveling together, and they've been at it ever since," he says. "The dog is a creation of wolves and humans—of two equal beings that came together at a certain point in history and have been together ever since." Of the special love between humans and dogs, Derr said, "I call it a 'deep empathy' between these two species that resonates with each other in a way that makes them comprehensible to each other, even though they don't speak the same language." (Read or listen to the whole piece for Derr's insights on small dogs, special breeds, and the cultural evolution of dogs.)
Two equal beings—that's pretty much what my dog thinks, too. As for the deep empathy, I admit I don't always feel that as I'm tugging her leash away from delicious trash-piles in the park. But if I thought about how close she is to being a wild wolf, I might better appreciate our strange, wonderful, cross-species relationship.
More on dogs:
The story of Rin Tin Tin
Training a dog with love
What dogs can teach us