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Therapy dog changing lives at Central Catholic

March 31, 2020

There’s a new helper in one of the classrooms at Central Catholic High School, and she works for treats and hugs.

Georgia is a 1-year-old Bulldog mix that was rescued as a stray from the streets of Atlanta. She made her way to a rescue in our area, and the rest is history.

Not all teachers in this world walk on two legs. If you love animals you know the profound impact they can have on the course of your day, and the important life-lessons they can teach us all. Georgia is proof positive of that, and she’s made a big impact in her short time in a Central Catholic classroom.

There are a lot of smiles in Kristi McKinley’s psychology and sociology classes at Central, and Georgia is a big reason why. Georgia had a rough start in life. She was picked up as stray in Atlanta, and was later transferred to the Lenawee County Humane Society in Adrian. That’s where Kristi found her.

Georgia had an infection that has limited the use of her back legs, but it doesn’t slow her down much. A lot of teaching moments have come from Georgia’s challenges.

The students say she’s helped make time in class more fun. They also say Georgia is a great example of the power of perseverance and getting back up when life knocks you down. She’s also helped get students to live more in the moment, and take a break from the technology that often floods their lives.

As her training continues, students are hoping to visit others schools and hospitals with her.

Georgia goes home every night with Kristi, and she lives with a number of other dogs and cats. In addition to her wagon, Georgia also has her own custom-built cart to help her get around.

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