Students at Westfield High School had an unusual visitor during final exam week from June 15 to 27. Cole, a teenage-loving black Labrador Retriever, held court in the school’s gymnasium every morning while students filed in between exams to pet, admire and talk to the trained therapy dog. 

“It is relaxing to sit here with him because dogs are so cute and affectionate,” remarked incoming 10th grader Sydney Butler.  

The therapy initiative, introduced by the school’s counseling department, was conveyed in advance to all Westfield High School families.

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“The benefits of therapy dogs are endless, including lowering blood pressure, releasing endorphins that have a calming effect, giving an automatic relaxation response, lifting spirits and lessening anxiety,” according to the letter to parents.  

Student Sintra Rumpeters, whose next exam was in a few minutes, agreed:  “Dogs make me happy.”