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Dog days: Canine counters stress of exams

Gracie, Shihtzu-Toy Poodle, a certified therapy dog owned by Thom Nustad of Rochester, Minn.

Students at the University of Minnesota Rochester are de-stressing with the help of a campus visitor this week.

Gracie, a therapy dog, is on campus beginning Thursday, through the end of the finals week to help students relax as they study for finals.

Gracie was joined by her handler and owner Thom Nustad. Gracie is registered through the Alliance of Therapy Dogs and is a therapy dog at Seasons Hospice.

Studies have shown that interaction with a dog can increase a person's level of oxytocin, a hormone that reduces anxiety and blood pressure, according to a press release from UMR.

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