Today may signal the start of fall semester at the University of Minnesota. But for some students, the big event begins tomorrow: the return of Woodstock the Therapy Chicken.
Woodstock and some specially trained cats and dogs will be greeting students from 3 to 5 p.m. Wednesday at Boynton Health Service as part of its popular PAWS (Pet Away Worry and Stress) program.
The pets exude their own kind of animal magnetism, with an almost Zen-like calm as hundreds of students parade through to ooh and ah and stroke their fur. It's well known that pets can have a calming affect on people, and in the past, many schools have trotted them out at especially stressful times, such as mid-terms and finals.
This year, the U is scheduling the free pet-therapy sessions once a week on the Minneapolis campus through most of the semester, with occasional appearances on the St. Paul campus. For dates and times, check out this website.