Relieve School Stress with Pets

pet therapy at cambridge common spaces

Photo by Tali Rudy Zaltzman

School is stressful. Homework is stressful. Tests, dining hall food, thinking about loans: it’s all very… stressful.

Pets are not stressful. Fluffy, cuddly, cute pets are not stressful. Pet therapy is the thing you need in your life right now.

It’s becoming increasingly common for colleges to offer pet therapy for their students especially during midterm and final exam weeks. Unfortunately though, one day every six months or so is not sufficient time to enjoy the company of these furry, cheerful fellows. This is why I was over the moon when I found out that Harvard Common Spaces would be hosting this joyful occasion last Friday.

Pet Therapy at Harvard Common Spaces

pet therapy

Photo by Tali Rudy Zaltzman

All week I waited for the day I would get to meet, hold, pet, (and I won’t deny it… pretend to own) a tiny pig. It was the thing I was most excited about, I mean, have you seen miniature pigs? They are the thing dreams are made of: cuteness overload, cloud and cotton candy magic, and baby cheeks level of adorability.

Finally the day came and my sister and I headed over to the lawn by the little Free Library in front of the Harvard Science Center to encounter this charming creature and some other (almost) equally adorable ones.

As we approached the spot we were somewhat disappointed to see only two very small enclosures with a few animals in them, and many, many people surrounding them. How were we supposed to get to the miniature pig, the fluffy little bunny, cute baby sheep, goat, and ridiculously funny chicks?

After circling around the two enclosures multiple times trying to figure out if there was some sort of organized way of getting in line to get into the pens, we realized that there was, in fact, no order at all. People were practically jumping in with arms open trying to catch one of the few pets available for our enjoyment… we decided to do the same (in the most civilized way we could), and we did.

pet therapy at harvard common spaces

Photo by Tali Rudy Zaltzman

After a good amount of waiting around and asking other people to please, please, please let us hold some of the animals, we managed to get a hold of a bunny, a chick, a sheep, a goat, and yes, even the miniature pig at one point.

Although we only got to hold these for a few seconds, just long enough to snap a picture, the joy that these friendly creatures brought into our lives was very gratifying. Even just seeing the animals walking around, eating the grass, being their peaceful selves, was enough to bring a smile to my face.

Pet therapy

Photo by Tali Rudy Zaltzman

There were too many people and too little animals in a very small space. I couldn’t help but think that the animals must have felt overwhelmed and tired with so many persons around them trying to hold them and passing them from hand to hand. This made me a little bit sad and was one of the reasons I decided to leave after only a short time. The experience was definitely not all that I hoped for but it gave me an appropriate dose of cuteness to keep me going through school for the next couple of weeks.

I will be keeping an eye out for future fuzzy, fluffy, friendly events in the area to revive my spirits with their cuteness. It’s also worth mentioning that Harvard Common Spaces hosts events similar (and not so similar) to this one periodically, so if you’re ever looking for something to do in the area, that’s a great place to start.

-Ariela Rudy Zaltzman, Content Editor