WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL)— Thursday, August 31, 2023, Midwestern State University students rushed to the library to be part of a continued nine-year-old tradition.

The campus library welcomed service dogs, which are specifically trained to help a person control daily anxiety and improve their mood. But this idea didn’t happen overnight, former MSU library director of 20 years who is now retired Clara Lathan was the brains behind the idea. The dogs were meant to help students on campus who were stressed and needed a little bit of relief.

Lathan said she saw the study of therapy dogs being used years ago in a Yale magazine, and it all took off from there. Lathan called her friend from church, Janet Brown, who happened to be part of the “Wichita Falls Obedience Training Club.” The two decided to bring comfort dogs on campus during finals, which were around December and May. However, once Brown noticed the popularity of the comforting dogs, she decided to bring them more often.

“The dogs help the students, especially after school starts, and they began to miss home their families, and even their own dogs,” Brown said. The student’s favorite dogs are Russian Wolfhounds Neva and Misha, both dogs have made over 500 trips across the country to serve as therapy.

A little corgi who sports an MSU t-shirt and likes to stand on step stools has also become a student favorite lately.

The therapy dogs will be back in October and December for midterms and the holidays to comfort students.