Having a dog at some public schools is becoming more and more popular due to the many different mental health issues that students face.
There is plenty of research showing that dogs have profound calming effects on all people, and can also lower blood pressure and reduce anxiety. With the global pandemic adding to the anxiety and stress of students, Dartmouth High Schools Assistant Principal decided to make a change.
Assistant Principal Gil found Augie, who is an 18-month old cross between a cocker spaniel and poodle. From the start, Gil knew that Augie would be perfect for students, staff, and later down the road, for his family. After finding him, Augie was enrolled in a private training course from the American Kennel Club, teaching him how to be a therapy dog.
For Augie to pass this course, he needed to have 10 interactive visits with different people. For his first visit, Gil took Auggie to the school, where the faculty fell in love with him. Since then, Gil and the staff knew it would be a perfect fit. Now that he has completed his training, Augie is working with Cathy Thomas, the school’s social worker, and helps students with stress and anxiety.
After being with Gil and his school for over a year, Gil made the decision to officially adopt Auggie. Auggie is loved by the students and does wonders for their health. The staff thinks of him as their own as well, and Gil has a new addition to the family.
Images & Feature Image Source: Peter Pereira/The Standard-Times