Oliver the Therapy Donkey is Here to Help You De-stress

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The end of the school year is a stressful time for college students. You’re packing up your dorm or apartment. You’re preparing for your summer job or internship. You’re going to have to leave your friends for a few months. And of course, you’re supposed to regurgitate everything you’ve learned over the past semester in your final exams.

You’ve probably heard about therapy dogs visiting schools to help students unwind and get a mood boost during study breaks. Intermountain Therapy Animals (ITA) is a volunteer-run group heaadquartered in Utah that brings therapy dogs to schools and other locations, and this week they were at the Montana State University library visiting with studying students. But it wasn’t just dogs. There was also Oliver, a therapy donkey.

Oliver’s visit to MSU was his first official gig as a therapy animal, according to a report in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. While some students enjoyed interactions with playful dogs, Oliver stood still, eyelids drooping, while students hugged and petted him.

The 8-year-old donkey may be new to therapy work, but he hasn’t spent his days sitting around the pasture. Photos on Oliver’s official Facebook page show him winning halter classes, going on pack trips in the mountains, and pulling a cart in parades.


Leslie Potter is a writer and photographer based in Lexington, Kentucky. www.lesliepotterphoto.com

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