Every Monday, there are service dogs in our school’s library. These dogs have been in training for over 2 years to help serve and heal different people’s needs. These kind and well mannered pets bring joy and hope into many different people’s lives. Not only are they there to help their owners with various needs, but they are also able to be a comforting companion.
These dogs come to our school to help reduce stress and socialize with kids. They are here to bond with the kids, even if it is only for a short half hour of their days. One of the main breeds of service dogs that visit our school are Golden Retrievers. Where do these dogs come from? Claudia Peters, a volunteer who helps with these service dogs, says, “Dogs at AHS are volunteers from the Dogs on Call, Monroe and Titan are Service Dogs. Lucy and Shayna are Therapy Dogs.”
Now, who trains these dogs? Service dogs are usually professionally trained, but in some cases can be trained by their owners. Many service dog organizations will use volunteers to help start the puppies that are planning on becoming a service dog before they will enter professional training. Some high school seniors have even raised a service dog for a senior project. If you are interested in doing this, or just raising a pup in general, Mrs. Claudia Peters has recommended that you get in touch with Canine Companions for Independence. This company trains four different types of assistance dogs: Service, Skilled, Hearing, and Facility Dogs. Each of these types help care and assist people with different disabilities.
These dogs not only are able to help people with disabilities, but also can bring joy to our student body. Eliza Senff, a freshman at AHS, says, “My favorite thing in the world is dogs, so I think that it is pretty great that I get to see dogs every Monday when I’m done with lunch. It really makes my week so much better.”
Senior Bekah VanDyk also says, “being able to pet a gentle quiet dog during lunchtime is really relaxing after having a rather stressful and busy morning doing schoolwork. It’s absolutely wonderful to have a therapy dog come in during the lunch period on Mondays, and it gives me something to look forward to at the beginning of the week.” When next Monday rolls around, don’t forget to go and check out the local service dogs in our library.