A college lab any student can love

May 3rd, 2013
Posted by | Posted in Service Dogs, Success Stories 853 views

TivoLoyola University Chicago has found a way to help students cope with the stress of finals. It might involve getting a tongue in your ear, but it’s worth it.

Tivo, a 5-year-old black Labrador retriever, has set up shop in Loyola’s Wellness Center, where he meets with students who need a break from the pressure of college life or who are homesick.

“They’ll come in, pet him, he’ll wag his tail, lick their faces, if they want their faces licked,” explains Joan Holden, associate director of the center. “If you’re a dog lover, being with a dog makes you feel better. He’ll show his tummy, wag his tail — all the things to make you feel good.”

Loyola decided last year there was a need for a therapy dog and asked Tops Kennels in Grayslake to be on the lookout for a suitable candidate. The kennel suggested Tivo, who was already well-trained, and with a little more work he became a certified therapy dog.

Tivo’s office hours at the center are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. He lives with the Rev. Justin Daffron, Loyola’s associate provost for academic services.

“They live in the dorm together, the honors dorm,” Holden says. “Tivo’s a very smart dog.”

Tivo is often out and about on campus. His Facebook and Twitter accounts announce Talk With Tivo sessions, hourlong get-togethers where people can get a serenity fix. He will surely be busy when finals start Monday.

Tivo is, not surprisingly, wildly popular. “We took him to the opening of our new student center,” Holden says, “and they were chanting his name.”

~ Courtesy of the Chicago Tribune

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