New Stress Relieving Trend Overwhelms Local Businesses

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- It is the end of the semester and for many students, it means time for finals.

Students have different ways of relieving stress. Some lace up their shoes and run. Others like to eat chocolate. Here in the Valley, some students say playing with puppies helps them get through exams.

In fact, this new stress relieving trend is becoming so popular, it is overwhelming local businesses.

Kaylyn Gallagher is a local student in the middle of exams. She said the last minute projects take up all her energy.

"It's been incredibly stressful. There has been at least one thing due every day for about two weeks straight. It's so overwhelming," said Gallagher.

While some students turn to partying to relieve their stress, a new trend is taking shape. Playing with puppies.

David Lesky is the owner of Gap View Kennel and Ranch in Harrisonburg. He said, playing with the dogs is therapeutic. In fact, the dogs also make trips to local nursing homes.

"All of their frustration and temper just disappears. They don't come up here and complain about this or that, they come up here and its just total golden love," said Lesky.

The trend is catching on so much, the kennel now has students make appointments to make sure they balance students coming in, with people wanting to buy dogs.

Gallagher and her roommates make two appointments this exam season, a sure sign of a busy schedule.

"The puppies have just so much energy. So, when I'm at my lowest point of energy, it's just so great to have the puppies cheer you up and make you forget about everything else you have going on," said Gallagher.

Now, as Gallagher starts the beginning of the end of her exam schedule, she says the puppies give her the extra push to keep going. is happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules:

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