CHICAGO — It's hard to shake off the stress of navigating a busy airport during the pre-Thanksgiving travel frenzy, but petting a dog might help.
The Chicago Department of Aviation is partnering with the Canine Therapy Corps to bring five dogs, of all different breeds, to both major Chicago airports to play with passengers while they wait.
The dogs and their handlers are "going to be roaming around each of the terminals and looking for gates with delayed flights, to try and find the people who are experiencing the most stress," said Ann Davidson, the therapy group's operations manager.
"Just interacting with dogs has been shown to reduce anxiety, stress and depression," she added. "And hopefully they can give some mental stimulation to people who are bored and waiting."
From 9-11 a.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, one dog will be stationed in Midway Airport's Concourse A and another in Concourse B, officials said.
Another three pups will wander O'Hare Airport from 1-3 p.m. on the same days — one in each domestic terminal.
United Airlines has trotted out therapy dogs at O'Hare before, but this is the first time Chicago airport officials have brought on the canine handlers.
The dogs will be wandering the gate areas, past security, officials said.
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