‘De-Stress With Pets’: Great River Rescue animals help BSU students cope with finals

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BEMIDJI -- Lucy Lou, a black and white pitbull terrier mix, gently pulled against her leash as a handful of BSU students crouched down to pet her. A few feet away, a catahoula leopard dog named River lounged on his back so more people could rub his belly.

Lucy, River and a handful of other dogs and cats from Great River Rescue, almost all of which are adoptable, showed up to BSU’s student union Tuesday for “De-Stress With Pets,” a twice-annual chance for students there to take a study break and collect themselves before finals start later this week.

“I love animals, and finals weeks really does get me stressed out,” said Cassidi Herrlich, a freshman speech pathology student who has a couple final exams scheduled Friday. “Especially because I haven't really started studying yet.”

Fellow freshman Lexi Johnson, an exercise science student at BSU who’s studying up for her finals early next week, said Lucy Lou reminded her of her own dog back home.

“It gets you out of your room or the library,” said Zachary White, a senior nursing and community health student who’s also one of the school’s “lifestyle educators” who help other students with their health questions.

The de-stress event was put together by BSU’s lifestyle educators, KBSB, the student-run radio station, and staff at Great River Rescue.