Boyne City Middle School Enrolls New Therapy Dog
Boyne City Middle School started the school year with a new full-time employee.
His name is Kevin and he monitors the school hallways on all four paws.
Boyne City Middle School’s new counselor never thought her family puppy would become a therapy dog in training until the principal came up with the idea.
Now Kevin tags along with her to work every day.
Kevin is the most popular good boy in school greeting each student every morning.
“I’ve had parents share with me that their kids actually feel better being able to see Kevin a couple times in the hallway. It just helps calm their anxieties and stress they have,” said Julie Sisson, Boyne City Middle School principal and Kevin’s owner.
Kevin makes a great hall monitor but he’s an even better friend.
“You have a kid having a down day and you say hey do want to take Kevin out to the bathroom or do you want to walk Kevin around the building and just to watch them perk up and smile right away is a pretty cool thing,” said Wilson.
“I see kids come into my office that are upset just struggling on maybe that day. He will get up and walk over and just lay by their feet and you can almost see the calmness come over the student,” said Sisson. “Where they just become more relaxed and it also usually will allow them to feel more comfortable to start talking and sharing information and he almost creates a security for them.”
And while students may not take note of the therapeutic benefits of having Kevin around, they definitely know he’s making a difference.
“I think he brings a lot of joy to the school and he’s usually out at recess and kids really like to play with him,” said 7th grader, Rylee Wymer.
Despite all of the belly rubs, the job can be rough.
“He’s still building his stamina as a full time employee,” said Sisson.
This is the first year for Kevin and if it all goes well they hope to bring him back next year where his therapy dog training will be complete.