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Bailey Gumm has written about an accepted trend at the only liberal arts college in Utah. A communications student created a “dog spotting” page  on Facebook asking students to check in when they see a certain canine on campus grounds. “You can get a little upshot of fun every once in a while during your day,” said Enan Whitby, a sociology major. “The fact that the community is so close, it’s nice seeing your friends interact with dogs and thinking, ‘Oh I might run into that dog later today.’”

This college may be unique in that dogs can be seen in the Writing Centre and in the buildings. And it has also attracted neighbours who are not part of the university community but want to see the dogs.  One professor noted “Students have periods of stress and may be away from home where they may have a pet,” Baxter said. “For some students, having dogs they can visit regularly, walk, or cuddle makes a real positive impact on their lives while at college.”

“A 2017 study of more than 3.4 million people, published in Scientific Reports, found that dog owners live longer and have a lower risk of death due to cardiovascular disease, according to an article in TIME Magazine. There are also studies that connect the positive impacts of animals on mental health. The Facebook page for the college’s dogspotting can be viewed here.

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