Therapy Dog Brings Smiles & Teaches Life Skills To Elementary School Students

Diane Hill is a second grade teacher at Northern Hills Elementary School in Onalaska, Wisconsin. She has been teaching for 21 years, but recently, she wanted to add something new to the classroom.

In order to help her students with nerves and first day jitters, Hill decided to bring her dog, Davie, to school with her. Davie is a 4-year-old Golden Retriever. She is a certified therapy dog that knows how to help humans, especially children, in stressful situations.

Right away, Davie seemed comfortable with her new job, and the kids were overjoyed to have her there with them. Just by looking at her, many of the students claimed that they felt better. If any students feel anxious or stressed during class, they can simply pet Davie to help ease those worries.

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Some of Davie’s roles around the classroom include greeting students in the morning, hanging out with them during story time, and even providing a healthy distraction from their workload. The kids enjoy petting her and giving her attention throughout the day. These simple interactions with Davie can easily bring a smile to each child’s face.

Davie not only provides comfort, but she also teaches the kids different life skills, including empathy. She has even gone above and beyond her duties of the classroom.

One of the second graders, Skylar Davis, tells a story about how Davie heard a kid crying through the door of the classroom. She rushed to find the upset student, and she helped make the crying stop almost right away by comforting them.

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There are a lot of life skills that the students can learn from Davie. Not only does she help them become more comfortable at school, but she helps these students to take what they’ve learned outside of the classroom and into their daily lives as well.

“She treats others with respect,” said second grader, Neveah Clancy. 

Davie proves that therapy dogs are a great way to get through to students. Most kids love animals, so they can learn so much from having a dog around to support them.

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There is also a therapy dog that works at Onalaska High School so that students of all ages can benefit. Davie also has an older sister named Harley. Harley is also a therapy dog that often visits the local nursing home.

Dogs are much more than just loyal companions to their families. They can also benefit those around them, especially children. If someone has the opportunity to spend time with a therapy dog, they will not regret it. More schools should consider getting therapy dogs to help make students as comfortable as possible.

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