Dog days at Berkeley

They can’t take finals for Cal students, but these dogs can, and do, provide some much-needed relief from the pressures of academic study.

On Monday, several therapy dogs and their handlers from former major league baseball manager Tony LaRussa’s Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) greeted students outside UC Berkeley’s Moffitt Undergraduate Library. Eager to dispense kisses and a soft shoulder to lean on, these students’ best friends give unconditional support and affection to stressed undergrads and staff alike.

All dogs have earned the American Kennel Club’s canine “good citizen certificate,” and they and their handlers must pass ARF’s temperament assessment to become therapy dogs. In a single month, ARF’s Pet Hug Pack makes some 166 visits to various facilities, with more than 100 handler/dog teams participating.

The dogs will again visit on Tuesday, May 1, at noon. University Health Services partners with ARF to bring pet therapy dogs on campus several times throughout the year.

For more information about ARF’s many animal services, visit http://www.arf.net/animal-programs/