Sign In

2020 Therapy Dog Grads

May 14, 2020

 

Graduation is being celebrated by many, but one special group hasn’t been able to show Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Seniors how much they mean to them– until now.

Therapy dogs have had a large presence on campus since the horrific tragedy on February 14, 2018.

The four organizations assisting the school are Canine Assisted Therapy,  Paws Assistance Dog, Share-A-Pet, and the Humane Society of Broward Assisted Therapy.

According to Lori Bale of Canine Assisted Therapy, the organizations work with the Broward County school district on what the needs are. Sometimes, they visit MSD on Therapy dog Thursdays, and other times, they want an extra presence for occasions like code red drills, and the commemoration of the tragedy.

Currently, the dogs can only be seen on virtual visits, which is why their handlers want the seniors to know they haven’t forgotten about graduation.

“The graduates at MSD have been through so much, and we didn’t feel like they got the year they deserved,” said Bale, “We just wanted to do something to congratulate them and tell them we love them.”

She spoke to fellow volunteer Donna Levy, from Share-A-Pet, to brainstorm how they could support the senior class with everything going on, and they decided to put together a zoom to seek advice from the other handlers.

On the call, Tiffany Aaron, who handles therapy animal “Patches the pig,” volunteered her daughter Emily, a Cooper City rising senior, to put together a video.

Emily, who is also mom to Lulu, a former greyhound racer with only three legs, received photos from each of the handlers, and put together a congratulatory video featuring each of the therapy dogs with heartfelt messages.

With some collaboration among the therapy dog handlers, as well as a little help from photoshop, the dogs appearing in the video are River, Molly, Fergie, Schooner, Lulu, Daisy, Rosie, Jessie, Lila, Annie, Coral, Lexie, Emma, Rocky, Addie, Skipper, Shelby, Ripley, Kol, Sophie, Chief, Hammer, Teddy, Astro, Sammy, Duncan, Lola, Grace, and Patches the Pig.

They wanted the video to focus on the graduates, so they kept the dog handlers out of the pictures, and just showed the animals, some students, and school staff.

Principal Michelle Kefford sent the video out through social media.

“We just want to make sure we get it out there, and all the seniors see it,” said Bale, “On behalf of the therapy dogs, “Fly high Eagles, we will miss you! Congratulations, MSD Class of 2020.”

Register your Dog Schedule a Visit

  • Recent News

    Pet Therapy Program

    Saturday, October 10 is World Mental Health Day, which this year has a new sense of urgency for many. Covid-19 has taken a mental and emotional toll on healthcare workers across the U.S but there is a program boosting the spirits of doctors and nurses on the frontlines. At UC Irvine Medical Center in Southern […]

    Read more

    AMR Therapy Dog

    Rampart, a therapy dog with American Medical Response San Bernardino County, recently passed his Certified Therapy Dog exam. AMR acquired Rampart, a 1½-year-old goldendoodle, when he was 10 weeks old. Rampart started basic obedience classes when he was 4 months old and continued through advanced obedience classes, according to a news release. When he was […]

    Read more

    Workers Get Canine Interactions

    It was a long, boring spring and summer for the four-footed members of the Alliance of Therapy Dogs, who couldn’t visit nursing homes and hospitals giving tail wags and doggy smiles. The coronavirus paused the professional canine therapeutic interactions with patients and hospital workers. “You could actually see him falling into a depression at home,” said Wendy Kadish of […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dog Program

    An initiative by Cyndy Caravelis, associate professor of criminology and criminal justice at Western Carolina University, will include a pilot program to use a therapy dog to aid domestic violence victims and their families in Jackson County. Caravelis’ German shepherd Atlas will escort victims and family members into court procedures and stay with children while […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dogs Working With Staff

    After a pause due to COVID-19, the St. John Ambulance Abbotsford therapy dog team recently returned to visit staff at several different correctional facilities in the Fraser Valley. The PAWS inside program originally began at the Alouette Correctional Centre for Women five years ago and started off by providing services to inmates. Last year, the […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dog Bringing Comfort

    The Marion County Sheriff’s Office has a special K-9 who plays an important role. While most K-9s help in crime scenes and investigations, Comfort Caj is crime therapy dog and brings smiles to the community and the sheriff’s office. “He really brings a light and energy to this whole building, that you can’t fathom, you […]

    Read more

    Montgomery County's Therapy Dog

    Montgomery County has a new tool to help give crime victims some support. That tool’s name is Zurg. Zurg is the new therapy dog for the Montgomery County district attorney’s office. Montgomery County District Attorney Daryl Bailey introduced Zurg as the newest member of the team Monday. Coming from Canine Companions for Independence, Zurg will […]

    Read more