Duke in Pics: Pups in Perkins

Students and staff take a break with canine friends in Duke Libraries

As students hunched over laptops, studying and scribbling in notebooks in Perkins Library Wednesday afternoon, dogs with lolling tongues accepted pats and hugs from those taking a study break.The canine visit was organized by Duke University Libraries and Duke PAWS, a campus advocacy group that volunteers at shelters, raises awareness about proper animal care and helps bring dogs to stress relief events on campus. The “Puppies in Perkins” end-of-semester tradition is timed for finals week as a way to provide students with a stress-free environment. Visitors helped themselves to chocolate cake in honor of what would have been the  101st birthday of Pompey Ducklegs, the former dachshund of the first dean of Trinity Law School, before it was known as Duke School of Law. Duke University Archives staff was on site with information about Pompey and other historic Duke animals.In Perkins Library room 217, four students surrounded Bentley, a 4-year-old goldendoodle, and commented on his size and soft fur. His owner, Cheryl VanGraafeiland, said she wanted Bentley to become a therapy dog because of his loving personality.“Tomorrow, he’ll just be exhausted all day,” said VanGraafeiland, smiling as multiple hands smoothed over Bentley’s fluffy coat. “He’s a feel-good dog. He makes you feel good.”The dogs and their owners are part of Carolina Canines for Therapy, which visits campuses, hospitals, nursing homes, schools, group homes and treatment facilities.Across the room, sitting on the floor, biology senior Victoria Haney took a break from studying for a final by petting Ruby, a 4-year-old greyhound mix. Ruby perked up whenever her owner rustled a treat bag. “It’s a nice thing to have,” Haney said of the event. “It makes people feel like they’re at home.”

Above, Bentley, a 4-year-old goldendoodle, takes a rest underneath a chair in Perkins Library.

Duke public policy sophomore Nicole Kozlak, right, pets 6-year-old German shepherd Lorelei. "This dog has made me so much calmer," Kozlak said.

Three-year-old Callen, a weimaraner, receives attention from students and staff in Perkins Library Wednesday.