Who Ya Gonna Call? Stress Busters!

When my cousin and I were in college at Syracuse University, we felt that final exams were the most stressful things that could possibly happen to anyone. When people would tell us to get a grip because those were the best years of our lives, we thought they were insane.

Apparently, Some things never change. Finals week at UCLA is as stressful as ever. But they have a secret weapon to combat the anxiety.

ELBEE Xanax?

CHARLEY Hot yoga?




No it’s not drugs or yoga. It’s therapy dogs! As part of the People Animal Connection, teams of dogs visit Powell Library to help everyone relax. Gus went in with his wingman Tommy, a Bichon, and Pierre a French Bulldog.






It was like magic when they walked through the door. The mood in the library immediately shifted from serious and somber to festive. Smiling students and faculty surrounded the dogs, hugging and petting them, taking selfies. There was a lot of laughter. No one was studying. Wait, is that a good thing?







Gus and Tommy also worked together on Yom Kippur, the day that Donna (Tommy’s person) and I decided that doing a good deed on the holiday outweighed traditional observance. We were a little short on atonement and fasting but very big on comforting people.

As I have shared, we survived the day without mishap. No lightening strikes. No plague. Not even a broken nail. I took that as a positive sign.

THE DOODS Really?!? 

GUS What about me and Tommy? Does anyone realize that we’re both Jewish?

Earlier this year, Gus and Tommy attended a workshop together to get tips on being even better therapy dogs than they already are. Not their finest moment. It wasn’t that they were barking or carrying on. They just couldn’t seem to focus.  They insisted on sitting on the table and were either chatting or falling asleep.

GUS and TOMMY You try sitting there for four hours!

Published by

Ellen Morrow

In her former life, Ellen Morrow was a carpool mom and award winning bodybuilder. Today she is a nationally certified therapy dog handler who volunteers at UCLA Medical Center and Providence Hospital with her GoldenDoodles. She's also the mother of three grown daughters who all think she's a little crazy or in the words of a friend, "a little unconventional." She is also an avid hiker who has survived a rattlesnake bite!

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