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story.lead_photo.caption Therapy dog Milo stopped by Reeves Library at Westminster College on Tuesday to spread some joy to students stressed from finals.

Milo the therapy dog is a very busy pup.
"He's been to Mizzou three times," his owner Debbie Feger, who lives in Mexico, said. "We go to Rusk Rehab in Columbia every Sunday for two to four hours."
On Tuesday, Milo and Feger dropped by Westminster College to provide some much-needed stress relief for students cramming for finals.
"We had about 25 or 30 students walk through," said Chelsea Tuthill, an academic library fellow at the college. "They had him do tricks and fed him animal crackers."
Tuthill invited Feger to Westminster after hearing about the success of similar events at the University of Missouri.
"They'll bring 20 dogs to the library, but we have a much smaller campus," Tuthill said.
Milo also visits SSM Health in Mexico and libraries in Centralia, Mexico and Columbia, where he listens to kids reading aloud.
"Some kids won't read in front of adults, because they're afraid they'll get mocked," Feger said. "We've got two little boys we're working with in Centralia whose grades have just gone up."
According to Feger, there's scientific evidence pointing to dogs having stress-relieving abilities. She's got anecdotal evidence as well.
"You see kids just light up when the walk into a room and see a dog, especially a big dog," Feger said.
A labrador/great pyrenees mix, Milo definitely qualifies as a big dog. He's also a qualified therapy dog, having been certified and tested through Therapy Dogs International.
"At first, I didn't know it was going to involve all of this training and money," Feger said.
She first decided to get involved in training therapy dogs when her father was in a nursing home. She was allowed to bring his pomeranian to visit him, but since it wasn't a certified therapy dog, the other residents weren't allowed to pet it.
Feger brought Milo to Ann Gafke's Teacher's Pet, a dog-training school in Columbia.
"He used to dance in a drill team, where we'd go to nursing homes and perform for them," Feger said.
Feger is a volunteer — she's not paid to bring Milo anywhere, and it's not her day job. But it's a calling she loves.
"It's a rewarding job," Feger said.

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