Dogs provide special counselling to Midland students
Special relationships are being built at a Midland school, thanks to our four-legged friends.
Medical assistance dogs visit Midland Secondary School once a week, bringing their unconditional love to students with anxiety issues or learning disabilities in a class called “The Dog Pound.”
The students spend 70 minutes a week with the dogs, who belong to several teachers at the school.
The program is a pilot project involving the Sweet Charity Medical Assistance Dogs and the Simcoe County District School Board that lasts nearly 10 weeks.
“It’s canine assisted education counselling, it’s not really about training dogs, it’s about helping kids,” says Lori Johnson with Sweet Charity Medical Assistance Dogs.
Johnson says the dogs have no formal training but their calm disposition and unconditional love is what has a positive effect on students.
“There’s a connection, usually at school you’re just focused on yourself but with the dog there you can feel a connection,” says Alex, a grade 10 student at Midland Secondary School.
The students get to walk the dogs in the school and also get a chance to meet other stduents.
The dog owners say they’re not surprised the students are benefitting.
“Tessie is a very loving dog and it’s really nice to see that the kids are happy to see her,” says Tessie’s owner Elyn Faragher.
To learn more about the Sweet Charity Medical Assistance Dogs click here.