Massive puppy love on campus helps students relax before exams

Diego and two happy friends

Traditionally, colleges and universities across the country schedule a reading day each semester. Planned for the day between the end of classes and the beginning of exams, reading day is an opportunity for students to study, review their semester notes and relax.

At Salem State, the day took on a whole new look this year when Marsh Hall resident assistant Brandon Devlin—in cooperation with the Salem’s Northeast Animal Shelter—arranged for four of the shelter’s puppies to pay a visit to the university. Throughout the day, students were invited to play with a puppy in a large, open area of Marsh Hall to relieve their stress leading up to exams. The event was a monumental success, with hundreds of students crowding into the puppy play area to snuggle, pet, hold, and cuddle and play with Ruby, Diego and two other very energetic young pups from the Northeast Animal Shelter. Shelter staff accompanied the pets to Salem State to answer students’ questions about puppy care and puppy behavior.

Asked about the event, students acknowledged that it was an enormous stress reliever—and hope the event will be held again. “Take this puppy away from me,” one young woman was heard to say, handing Diego to another student. “I think I’m addicted!”