A group of University of Minnesota students flocked to scout out Cooper at the recreation and fitness center on a rainy day last week.
No, he’s not some studly Pilates instructor. He’s a beautiful golden retriever, one of many therapy animals the U provides to help reduce student and staff stress levels.
Four times a week throughout the U’s campuses, students can play and bond with dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, chickens, domesticated rats, even a miniature horse. While other schools may offer animals for stress relief during midterm and finals weeks, Minnesota is the only university in the country to offer a furry mental health break year-round.