Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Power of Animals

I have an amazing story that I want to share with you all today.  In my school, we are extremely lucky to have an absolutely amazing social worker who has brought an equally amazing program that has helped so many students!  The program is called Pet Pals.  The program brings therapy dogs & their owners to schools in our county to do a number of things.  Most of the time, you'll see kids reading to the dogs or taking them for a walk to give them a little stretch break.  The dogs are amazing because they help the most struggling readers by providing a non-judgmental ear (They love to listen to stories) and they accept any child, regardless of their physical or emotional needs.  I've seen the Pet Pals have a profound impact on students I struggles to make a connection with, students who have a difficult home life, those struggling with confidence, anxiety, academics, or the kid who could just benefit from a 15 minute break to run/walk off some energy!

I've had Pet Pals in my room every year for the past 3 years and don't think I could ever go a year without it.  Last year, I had the privilege of welcoming Zeus with his mom, Holly into my room.  Zeus was humongous to say the least!!  A gorgeous Bernese Mountain Dog who brought new excitement to my room.  We only have him for a few weeks before our Social Worker decided that he might be the best fit in a high needs classroom for kids in wheelchairs etc.  He would be easy for them to reach!  So unfortunately, we didn't get to see Zeus again but we knew he was doing amazing things!  

Last week, an amazing story was written about Zeus in the Boston Globe.  He had made such an impact on one boy in particular that is such a heartwarming story that may bring tears to your eyes.  Sadly, Zeus recently passed away but what he did for this child and so many others will never be forgotten!  Click the picture of Zeus and the boy below to read the article! It will inspire you!

And you may even want to think of a way to get Pet Pals into your schools! Trust me, you would be amazed at what the love from an animal can do for your students!


1 comment:

  1. Oh, Ashley, thank you so much for sharing that story. It is amazing. I remember the nursing home where my grandmother stayed for a while had a precious little rescued Westie who made such a difference in so many lives. I love the idea of sharing the dogs in schools. Thanks again.
    Kindergarten: Holding Hands and Sticking Together