“Dogs love their friends and bite their enemies, quite unlike people, who are incapable of pure love and always have to mix love and hate.”
—Sigmund Freud (psychoanalyst)
When Dollar, Pound, Yen, Euro entered into the lives of homesick students of SIMC campuses in Lavale and Viman Nagar, Pune; they no longer felt stressed. In this case, they are not currency notes. They are relieving and furry labrador puppies who are known to love humans more than they love themselves.
An MBA student, Shreshtha Gupta, no longer goes around looking for her friends to talk to and de-stress herself. Instead, she turns to Dollar and Pound, her new ‘campus pets’, who cheer her up without fail. The two male Labradors, Dollar with his shiny black coat and Pound with his fawn coloured coat, arrived at the Symbiosis Institute of Business Management (SIBM) campus some 15 days ago under a ‘pet therapy’ programme. Pet therapy builds on the pre – existing human and animal bond. There is a natural relationship between the two. Pet therapy aids progress toward goals in human physical, emotional, social and cognitive function.
Vidya Yeravdekar, principal director of the Symbiosis Society and vice-chancellor of Symbiosis University said, “Students cannot cope up with stress nowadays, whether it is academic stress, relationships or at times family related issues. A pet in the hostel certainly is a stress-buster for them. When students come back from their classes to their hostel rooms, they look forward to playing with these pets. Symbiosis has decided to have pets at every hostel campus. To start with, this initiative has been implemented at the Vimannagar and Lavale campuses.”
They recognized the struggles of students coming from different cities or even countries, who left their families and go through homesickness at times. On top of that, these students are usually overloaded with assignments and classes. They believe that these pets will not only make them feel at home, but also expose the ones to happiness who’ve never had the chance to receive unconditional love from pets. The Institute also has plans to make labrador puppies a part of the lives of these young minds.
Aman Bharadwaj, a second year student of SIBM, misses his Labrador, who he had to leave in his hometown Moradabad, “Whenever I go for lectures or come back from attending one, I take out time and play with them. Since I have had a dog for the past eight years, I know how to train them and try to teach them neat tricks.” Many other students miss their pets terribly and their sad faces were turned into smiling ones, once they had the chance to play with these cute little creatures.
The two dogs at each campus will be kept in a dedicated area and groomed as per the norms with proper medication, since they have been trained in a Pet Therapy. These pets are set free in the hostel area in the evening and the students have their leisure time to devote to them.