Bournemouth University gets student therapy dog
- 23 October 2013
- From the section Dorset
A university in Dorset has enlisted the help of a dog to help students who need extra learning support.
Jack, a shih tzu, has been brought in by Bournemouth University to help students with mental health issues and physical or sensory impairments.
The three-year-old, owned by tutor Carolyn Atherton, has become part of the additional learning support team.
Ms Atherton said he was "laid back until horizontal [but] if someone's upset, he's there like a shot".
Jack's job was created as a pilot in conjunction with local voluntary group Caring Canines.
He spends the day in the office with his owner and attends one-to-one tutorials with up to 12 students a week.
Ms Atherton said he helps them relax, focus and cope better with tasks they find difficult.
She said: "I always ask students first if they are happy for him to be there - so far, no-one has said no.
"He always brings a smile to their face.
"He's a little dog with a big presence - a bit of a character. He's laid back until he's horizontal, but he has his mad moments too.
"We all find his aloofness funny. But if someone's upset, student or staff, he's there like a shot."