First full-time therapy dog for Washington Local Schools joins Monac Elementary

First full-time therapy dog for Washington Local Schools joins Monac Elementary

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - When we're having a bad day, often times, we can turn to our pets to lift our spirits.  A Washington Local Elementary School is bringing that same comfort and joy to the classroom.

"Brooke" is a certified therapy dog. She works alongside Melanie Robinson, Monac Elementary School's counselor.

She starts her day greeting the students. She goes to recess with them and she says goodbye at the end of the day.

Students can also spend some one-on-one time with her if they are feeling down. "Brooke" is the first full time therapy dog for Washington Local School.

"Brooke" is able to do something that I just can't. Immediately the boundaries are brought down. The students will talk to her. They will open up to her. She has a great way of being able to calm their anxiety," says Robinson.\

"Brooke" loves the kids at Monac Elementary School, just as much as they love her.

"She helps kids get through the day when they're having a tough time," said sixth grader Kylie Varnes.

"We throw balls with her and she's so fast when she runs," added sixth grader Hannah Forche.

It was a process getting Brooke to Toledo from New Hampshire. She had to be approved by the school board and she had to be paid for through fundraisers, which some of the students helped with.

Not only is "Brooke" at Monac Elementary to help students who are having a tough day, but she's also helps students who are struggling with reading.

"With Brooke, she's non-judgmental. She's a friend to everyone. She's not going to tell you when you mispronounce something. She will just put her head in your lap and listen," said Robinson.

Robinson also added that the school will also look at whether reading to Brooke increases students' fluency and comprehension.

There are two students at the school with dogs allergies, but are only affected when touching the dog.

The two students either don't touch, or wash their hands immediately afterward. If a case of extreme allergies arises, a no dog zone will be established.

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