GMU Law Brings in Puppies to De-Stress Students During Finals Week

December 2nd, 2011



At George Mason’s law school, which has more than 700 students, dozens took a break Thursday from their immersion in contracts, torts, criminal law and the like and gathered for more than two hours in the school’s atrium to play with the puppies. The animals had been saved recently from euthanasia in West Virginia shelters by A Forever-Home Rescue Foundation. The four litters of puppies are living with four foster moms until they are adopted. They are a mix of breeds, but many of them look like beagles or Labrador retrievers.

“There’s nothing like a puppy to make someone smile,” said Debbie Marson, a volunteer with the foundation. “It’s great for the students, and it’s great socialization for the dogs.”

When the puppies arrived, many seemed nervous around the mob of strangers. But as the students stroked their silky coats, they chilled out. Several fell asleep in the arms of future lawyers.

“I think they are sensing our stress,” said Tashina Harris, 23, a second-year student from Manassas who cuddled Summer, a white puppy with brown spots. “They’re reminding us we need to take breaks.”