There is significant potential for dogs to help young people in a range of educational environments, bringing benefits to their academic, emotional and social development. School Therapy dogs have been active in schools for some time now. They have become invaluable members of the school communities, with teachers, trainers and parents witnessing the amazing effects therapy dogs have on the students 📚
Blu joined the Bales Buddies team in 2019, and despite having to stop training during the pandemic, Blu has come such a long way since then. He works with students with a range of disabilities and individual needs throughout the school year and is there to help improve independence, wellbeing and skills. Who wouldn't want a cuddle from this happy chap!
He's well known at the School for Inspiring Talents, in fact he's just as much part of the family as the teachers, students and support staff at the school. Ask anyone at the School for Inspiring Talents about Blu and they’ll let you know the special place he holds in the hearts of many of the students. Blu has fitted in beautifully at the school. The students (and staff) really seem to benefit from the fact that Blu is with them everyday. His friendly, calm and gentle personality means he is ideally suited to his role as a school dog. He puts the students at ease but they also enjoy the fun and active side to his nature, an element we regularly enjoy during the sessions.
Chris, his owner, says "Blu has had a fantastic year at the School for Inspiring Talents. Blu has been a great help during the Covid-19 lockdowns, supporting students with home visits and video calls when school has been closed to ensure that all the students know that he is missing them and thinking about them. Blu has also spent his time in school going on walks with the students and spending time with everyone throughout the pandemic".
"Blu has also been invaluable during a school move, as this was a challenging time for students and Blu helped them to settle in at the new site quickly. Blu is fantastic at keeping the students calm and relaxed during stressful situations and is such a big character around the school. More recently, Blu has been accompanying students on off-site visits to Decoy Park, Paignton Zoo and Woodlands to name a few places. Blu regularly goes off-site with students to help them do some shopping, visit play parks, and just get out in the community".
"Blu has also been helping transition new starters into school, going on school visits and helping with transitions. Blu has now got two new helpers, Red and Yellow, Golden Retriever soft toys who students can take home to look after. Blu is amazing at what he does and loves being in school to ensure he gets his daily cuddles. Blu is also looking forward to next year and cannot wait to be back at school to help the students each day".
While therapy dogs might not be the best solution for every school, it is clear that there are a variety of different situations in which a Therapy dog can be extremely useful and beneficial. If you are a school who is interested in our school dog or community dog programme, please contact us via email firstname.lastname@example.org or click here and use the get in touch with us form.