A reassuring 4-legged presence at university

A reassuring 4-legged presence at university

At the end of each term, as final exams get into gear, Polytechnique Montréal rolls out the red carpet for an exceptional St-Pierre dog who helps students manage their stress.

May 12, 2019 By Clémence Risler

There's a special buzz in the air and a long line of students forming at the library at Polytechnique Montréal. After a few minutes of waiting time, everyone gets the opportunity to stroke Duff and to talk to his owner, Roger, a retired member of staff from Mira foundation.

Duff's visit is part of a comprehensive series of initiatives that the library holds twice a year to help students cope with exam-time pressure. They can sign up for a number of relaxing activities, which include working on puzzles and colouring.

Duff's kind, calm demeanor makes these “animal relief” sessions possible. Trained by Mira as a guide dog, alongside his master, Duff has taken part in awareness and fundraising activities for the foundation. He's used to being the centre of attention and a magnet for enthusiastic dog lovers.

The St-Pierre's presence gives students not only the pleasure of stroking a splendid animal but also a few moments of comfort. For many out of town students, Duff is a welcome stand-in for the family dog which they may have been missing all term long.

However brief in duration, Duff's visit brings multiple, heart-warming benefits.

Cover photo: Duff is surrounded by students at the prestigious engineering school.

Photo credit: Polytechnique Montréal.

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