Airport Therapy Dogs Help Make Air Travel Somewhat Bearable

Pets Unstressing Passengers, or PUP, is a service that provides passengers at 20 major U.S. airports the opportunity to interact with trained therapy dogs.

What's the Latest?

It's hard to imagine a stressful situation that wouldn't be made at least a little bit better by the presence of man's best friend. In the hospital? There's a doggie for that. At the courthouse? Pups to the rescue! Finals got you down? Allow a pleasant little pooch make you forget all about differential equations.

Therapy dogs are experiencing a major surge in popularity as over-stressed Americans try to keep from completely cracking up. The airport dogs, part of the Pets Unstressing Passengers (PUP) program, are now on duty to bring cheer to passengers at 20 major U.S. airports.

What's the Big Idea?

Studies show animal-assisted therapy is an effective way to reduce stress and anxiety. Frazzled passengers dealing with delays, missed flights, and gate changes are given the opportunity to do just that when they encounter the PUP patrol. One passenger quoted in the USA Today piece linked below referred to the dogs as a breath of fresh air in what is more often than not a very stuffy place.

The PUP dogs aren't just random mutts who get paraded through the terminal. Each dog, easily identifiable by their bright red vests, undergoes a thorough training regimen administered by the airport. While on duty, they provide comfort and joy to as many passengers as they can before they tire.

Next time you're at the airport, keep an eye out for the friendly uniformed pooches wearing the "pet me" vests. One thing to note: the dogs are almost always located past security, so you'll first have to go through the often-unfriendly uniformed TSA agents who are more likely to pet you.

Read more at USA TODAY

Photo credit: Fly_dragonfly / Shutterstock

Why a great education means engaging with controversy

Jonathan Zimmerman explains why teachers should invite, not censor, tough classroom debates.

Sponsored by the Institute for Humane Studies
  • During times of war or national crisis in the U.S., school boards and officials are much more wary about allowing teachers and kids to say what they think.
  • If our teachers avoid controversial questions in the classroom, kids won't get the experience they need to know how to engage with difficult questions and with criticism.
  • Jonathan Zimmerman argues that controversial issues should be taught in schools as they naturally arise. Otherwise kids will learn from TV news what politics looks like – which is more often a rant than a healthy debate.
Keep reading Show less

Are these 100 people killing the planet?

Controversial map names CEOs of 100 companies producing 71 percent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions.

Image: Jordan Engel, reused via Decolonial Media License 0.1
Strange Maps
  • Just 100 companies produce 71 percent of the world's greenhouse gases.
  • This map lists their names and locations, and their CEOs.
  • The climate crisis may be too complex for these 100 people to solve, but naming and shaming them is a good start.
Keep reading Show less

SpaceX catches Falcon Heavy nosecone with net-outfitted boat

It marks another milestone in SpaceX's long-standing effort to make spaceflight cheaper.

Technology & Innovation
  • SpaceX launched Falcon Heavy into space early Tuesday morning.
  • A part of its nosecone – known as a fairing – descended back to Earth using special parachutes.
  • A net-outfitted boat in the Atlantic Ocean successfully caught the reusable fairing, likely saving the company millions of dollars.
Keep reading Show less