US University hires “Dog Professor” for Wellness


Los Angeles   A new professor to provide comfort to stressed students has been hired by a top most US university and the new faculty member is no renowned academic person but a cute litte 2-year-old dog.

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The University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles has hired a goldendoodle named Professor Beauregard Tirebiter, according to university news site.
He resides on the second floor of the university's student health centre, where he provides affection and comfort to stressed students as a wellness dog, USC News wrote. He even has office hours, a uniform and business cards — though he has "trouble handing out the latter".

"We wanted to do something that would change our culture," Paula Lee Swinford, director of the Office of Wellness and Health Promotion at USC.was quoted as saying. The hope is that Professor Tirebiter will help create a sense of community on campus, in addition to providing therapeutic companionship,he further added.

Research suggests that positive interactions with dogs can create a sense of calm and well-being, said Olga Solomon, an assistant professor at the USC.

Petting a therapy dog can increase serotonin, beta- endorphin and oxytocin — chemicals and hormones that make people happy — and decrease cortisol, a stress hormone, Solomon said.

For now, Professor Tirebiter is learning to get comfortable all over campus, in addition to some tricks, said Amanda Vanni, his handler, who is also a health promotion specialist at USC's student health centre.

"I'm teaching him how to do a 'Fight on' right now," she said, referring to the school's official fight song. "We're working on a paw out in the air," she said.
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