How These Adorable Puppies Are Helping Out At The Olympic Trials

Photographed by David Cortes.
The Olympic Swim Trials just got a lot cuter and cuddlier. Normally, the trials are a time of incredible stress for the athletes vying to qualify for Team USA. But this year, USA Swimming partnered with the Nebraska-based Domesti-PUPS organization to provide competing swimmers with therapy dogs. The dogs have been hanging out in the swimmers' lounge to help the athletes relax and de-stress between events. In addition to relieving stress, therapy animals have been found to help people cope with depression, fatigue, and anxiety. Most recently, a dozen golden retrievers were deployed to comfort the grieving in the wake of the Orlando shooting. KETV7 Omaha reports that, as we expected, the dogs have been very well-received. "We had one swimmer who spent 20 minutes petting the dog," volunteer Sandy Ludwig told the news station. "Then she went and did her trial. She came back about an hour later and said that was the best trial she has ever swam." Throughout the trials (which will continue through the week), 30 therapy dogs will be available for petting, snuggles, and, hopefully, refreshers in doggy-paddling. No matter how you approach stress, it's important to know how to deal with it — and just an added bonus if your preferred method happens to be a furry friend.

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