Our School Dog – Skye
Skye was born sometime in 2016 and is around two years old. Skye is a rescue dog who was found living outdoors in a field in -15◦C in Bosnia. She was taken to Romania by the rescue charity and then came to live in the UK. She is probably a mix between a Retriever and a Corgi…with a bit of something else thrown in for good measure! She belongs to Miss Jenkins. Skye is training to become a registered Pets As Therapy dog.
About Pets as Therapy
Pets as Therapy https://petsastherapy.org/ say “PAT Dogs provide comfort, encourage positive social behaviours, enhance self-esteem, motivate speech and inspire young people to have fun.”
Some benefits of a school dog include: –
- Emotional – seeing Skye will improve self-esteem, encourages smiling and laughter
- Physical – interaction with Skye can reduce blood pressure and heart rate as she can be a calming influence during times of high anxiety
- Social – seeing Skye can provide a positive mutual topic for discussion, promotes greater self-esteem and well-being, and encourage social communication and social interaction
- Learning – Skye loves to listen to pupils reading, they can count with her and tell her all about the learning they are doing in class
You might be thinking …
What if my child is allergic to dogs?
It is understandable that families and carers may be concerned about possible allergic reactions to a school dog. Skye is groomed daily before she goes to school and she is also professionally bathed and groomed regularly. Pupils will only meet Skye if they wish to. Children will be shown that after petting Skye, they will need to wash their hands. Families and carers will be asked to let school know if their child has a known allergy to dogs.
What is my child is scared of dogs?
We totally understand that some children may be scared of dogs (or other animals). Skye will only meet children for whom we have permission. Skye’s temperament, training and assessment as a PAT dog means she is a calm and patient dog. She will not be allowed to jump up at pupils or run after them. We will work with families and carers to see if small exposure to Skye may help a child overcome their fear. We will teach all children that they must always ask an owner to pet a dog and Skye is no exception (this teaches skills for when children meet dogs out of school and also supports social communication and social interaction within school).
What about the dog’s toileting?
As a trained dog, Skye has a well-established toilet routine. She will be walked before school by Miss Jenkins and she knows her routine well enough to be confident that she does not ask to go to the toilet during the day. If on an incredibly rare occasion Skye does have a toileting accident in school, then this will be cleared up immediately and the area disinfected. Miss Jenkins will consider why this happened and put in steps to prevent this happening again.
Who is covering the costs of the dog?
100% Miss Jenkins is Skye’s owner. All costs for Skye (food, vet’s fees, Insurance, Pets As Therapy fees) are covered by her as her owner.
Will the school dog be at school every day?
No. Skye will like some days at home with Miss Jenkins’ other dog. This is important for her as a dog. The pupils will know Skye is in school by a schedule in the school.
I have some other questions …
Feel free to ring or email school or pop in and meet Skye yourself.