Jasper the therapy dog is coming back to the University of Hong Kong and he's staying throughout the semester.
The nine-year-old rescued English sheepdog first met the university's students and staff last December in a new pilot programme. For six days, 78 students and staff were able to hang out with Jasper to relieve their stress.
Based on overwhelmingly strong feedback, the University of Hong Kong Libraries decided to continue the programme until the assessment period in May with additional sessions throughout the semester.
In April, Jasper will hold two 30-minute sessions per day, with four to five attendees per session at the universty's education library. "We found three sessions (a day) too much for him," says Gary Chin, Jasper's daddy and public relations and development manager for HKU Libraries. Details for the May sessions have not been confirmed yet.
For now, the university students will get a chance to meet Jasper on campus from time to time. Named "Jasper Sightings," these will be unscheduled ad hoc activities that will give more time for students and Jasper to get to know each other, Chin said.
In a survey of past participants, most say that Jasper is friendly and welcomes interaction. They also said hanging out with Jasper helped them releaxed, and they enjoyed his company and a general sense of well-being after spending time with the sheepdog.
Edited by Jamie Lam