Animal Therapy

This past Friday was my pro D day and I got to learn all about Tilly who is our therapy dog at the school I work at. She’s an Australian labradoodle. She’s like Zeke my dog. She was bred for her job at our school. It took two years for the breeder to have the right dog. I learned about the program at UBC that helps with putting therapy dogs into schools. He spoke about what their program is all about. How it helps so many children and adults. Then we got to hear the trainer speak about the 100’s of hours of training that Tilly gets. The trainer comes to our school and works with groups of children. Tilly just turned one year old so she’s still young. It’s amazing how much she knows already.

We then got to go back to school and see the tricks Tilly knows. The hands on was awesome because at school Tilly is working with the children so I don’t get to see a lot of what we saw. The trainer taught us how to read cues from her if he’s getting anxious or needs time out. This was such a needed time for our pro D day because so many of us are tired and need this to boost us up.

I love Tilly. She’s an amazing dog and every time I see her in the hallway it lifts my spirit up hugely. She’s so good with the children. I love that when a child is maxed out, Tilly just sits with them in silence or puts her paws on them to know that they are safe and she’s there for them. We saw photos of children inside her soft crate reading a book and Tilly sitting by them. Children reading to her it helps boost children that don’t like to read or are embarrassed to read out loud she just sits and listen. It calms down the children her presence when they have big emotions.

It’s not just Tilly her owner is an amazing calm person. She’s one of the school counsellors. They are the best team. Not only does Tilly make the children happy, she makes every adult at school happy as well. We are so lucky to have Tilly at our school. She’s brought so much confidence to the children and everytime they see her they want to go over and visit.

I’m so blessed that I get to be at this school. It’s been so hard for our children and adults with Covid we are tired and our children feel the effects in their homes. If we can make everyday a safe place to be and a special friend for them then it’s all worth it. I pray I can stay at this school in September. For me Tilly reminds that no matter who you are or where you have come from animals are one of the best therapies. I’ve seen it over and over again.

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