Apparently This Matters: The puppy room

Stressed out at college? Puppies. Out of salsa? Puppies. See? All better.

Story highlights

  • "Apparently This Matters" is CNN Tech's weekly, offbeat look at the social Web
  • This week, Jarrett breaks down a post on a university's "puppy room"
  • Puppies, when you think about it, are the answer to all of life's ills
  • Also, Reddit probably just thought of a new term for a sex act

If you do a Google image search right now for "cute furry animals," you'll immediately find yourself in a fantastic world of kittens and hamsters and ducks and raccoons. And, oddly enough, if you scroll down a bit, there's even a bizarre Photoshopped image of Tom Hanks. It's his head on a bird's body.

The Internet. Just like Al Gore intended.

Of course, as expected, you'll also find more than enough puppies to choke a horse. (Though, that does seem a rather strange and unethical metaphor. But, nevertheless, if gagging a thoroughbred is at the top of your Outlook, I'd think just one medium-sized Frenchton would do the trick.)

The point here is that the Internet is filled with cute dogs. And people will usually click on just about anything that even mentions the word.

Which is why it completely makes sense that a random puppy-related news story from Canada happily turned more than a few heads this week, even here in the United States where, generally speaking, most Americans don't particularly care about whatever it is you crazy kids are doing up in the Great White North.

Stressed out? Go to the 'puppy room'
Stressed out? Go to the 'puppy room'


    Stressed out? Go to the 'puppy room'


Stressed out? Go to the 'puppy room' 01:22

We assume it has something to do with beer and moose and Neil Young. And, mind you, that's nothing to be ashamed of. Well, depending on what's happening to the moose. Sinners.

But like many, I first read about this trending puppy story in the National Post, where Jen Gerson reported that Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia had set up a "puppy room" to help students relieve stress.

It's a simple and brilliant idea. But if you're having trouble picturing what this actually looks like, their advertising slogan for the three-day event pretty much lays it out:

Yup, it's a room full of puppies.

Michael Kean, a third-year environmental science student proposed the idea. He told the National Post, "It fills a niche that people need right now because students are super stressed."

"Apparently This Matters" Is Jarrett Bellini's weekly (and somewhat random) look at social-media trends.

And that's why they decided to work with a pet therapy organization called Therapeutic Paws of Canada. Though, I honestly wonder if the school had to specify just what kind of paws they actually wanted on campus.

These are some rather burly people up there above us. So, who knows what else Therapeutic Paws of Canada has in stock.

"We weren't sure what to bring, so here's six grizzlies and a wolf."

I believe six grizzlies and a wolf is technically known as a Manitoba Petting Zoo. And in an hour somebody on Reddit will turn it into a slang sex term. I hope.

But long before one of this week's planned stress-reducing events ever happened, students were already buzzing about the possibility of rolling around with little Labradoodles and Shelties and Goldens.

Gavin Jardine, vice-president of student life at Dalhousie's student union, told the National Post, "We haven't even printed posters. We just posted a pdf poster to our Facebook page and it took off. We had 1,800 shares, thousands of likes. It's gone viral on Twitter as well."

Behold! The power of dogs!

Some students actually waited for almost an hour just to get into the puppy room -- which does seem somewhat counterintuitive since highly stressed-out people waiting in long lines usually leads to violence. Maybe even puppy violence.

"Boy, that escalated quickly."

But never mind the queues. What's really amazing is that -- to my knowledge -- it actually took this long for somebody to come up with such a great idea in the first place. I mean, when I was in college we didn't have puppy rooms. We had a frozen yogurt machine.

Behold. The power of vanilla.

See? Doesn't have the same ring to it. And that's why puppies should be your go-to answer for all of life's problems.

"We're out of salsa."


"Dude, that doesn't even make sense."

Anyway, credit to Dalhousie University for providing a room full of dogs for everybody to enjoy. It was a really clever idea, with just the right amount of pointless absurdity. So, here's hoping you all mellowed out and did well on your exams.

And if not, screw it.


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