Sign In

O’Connor Primary School’s therapy dogs

April 3, 2020

During an anxious time when everyone is experiencing the unknown, one workplace has found the perfect solution to calm nerves and reduce stress.

O’Connor Primary School welcomed its first therapy dogs at the start of Term 1, and teacher Jo Talbot said they had been a godsend for staff and students in the past few weeks.

Seven-year-old Labrador-cross Border collie Poppy and five-month-old Border collie Jesse are the newest classmates in Ms Talbot’s Year 2 classroom.

“Poppy is now a certified therapy dog — she can be used in schools, nursing homes, in hospitals and things like that to help with anxiety and other things for kids and people,” Ms Talbot said.

“I brought (her) in a couple of times last year because I had a couple of kids with autism, and just her reaction with the kids was just amazing so I thought I’d just do a bit more research into this and go a little bit further,” Ms Talbot said.

“So I approached my boss and he helped fund the training for it and now our school has an official therapy dog.”

Poppy’s calming demeanour helps children overcome the nerves, stress and anxiety they experience daily in the classroom.

“It was interesting what kids the dogs chose to go and sit next to, because in the classroom they are not on their lead so they can wander,” she said.

“The kids just pat them and they get on with their work and the dogs go on to someone else that is off-task. It’s beautiful to watch actually.”

While Jesse is just a puppy and still undergoing training, Poppy underwent some intense training with Ms Talbot.

“I thought I was becoming a vet at one stage — there is so much theory and things like that about the dogs, the breeds, diseases, looking after them, grooming, stuff like that, so it was very in depth,” Ms Talbot said.

“Then I had to do a series of videos to show how the dog reacted with people, other dogs and the children.

“It’s been a very interesting course to do.

“Jesse only comes in once a week, she’s only a puppy, so I’m making sure when she comes in we don’t stress her out too much as she is only young.”

Register your Dog Schedule a Visit

  • Recent News

    Students Get Therapy Dog

    When middle school students return to class on Jan. 11, they’ll find a new face at the door: Daisy. Daisy is a therapy dog and the personal pet of Rob Kreger, principal of the Rock L. Butler Middle School. The five-year-old golden retriever is not a school pet or mascot, but rather a working dog […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dogtor

    Last March, Caroline Benzel, a third-year medical student, began to notice the stress and discomfort her nurse friends were feeling from the pressures of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. “[Personal protective equipment] can be really rough on the skin,” Benzel, 31, tells PEOPLE. Benzel and her 3-year-old Rottweiler, Loki (who’s also a therapy dog) hatched a […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dog Pups

    When Stanley the miniature fox terrier’s owner passed away, the little dog started a ‘paw-some’ new role – bringing puppy love to some of the Gold Coast’s oldest residents. After Carinity Cedarbrook Diversional Therapist Julianne Staff adopted Stanley, he began visiting the aged care community at Mudgeeraba as a therapy dog. Therapy dogs help to […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dogs At School

    Those who own a dog can attest to their ability to lift mood, improve stress and bring joy by simply being there, unanswering, seemingly all-knowing and always delighted to see you.  Therapy animals are known for their calm and comforting nature, giving people a way to relax, de-stress and interact with a loving pet.  They […]

    Read more

    Wonder Dog

    For those of us with dogs, we know they quickly become major parts of the family. You live for and care for just like one of your own children, and one dog right here in Oklahoma City is beating the odds, and helping others recover as a therapy dog, despite all of the issues he’s […]

    Read more

    Scott And Charlie

    Cherokee Middle School students may do a little more “doodling” second semester starting this month (January), but also will improve their attendance marks because of a special attraction at the school, courtesy of Principal Scott Aden. Aden, an effective, caring administrator, has acquired and will house and handle a young female Golden Doodle (Charlie) that […]

    Read more

    Hope For Veterans

    E5 Therapy opened in April with a different way to help veterans in therapy. They offer canine-assisted therapy along with talk therapy to veterans and veterans’ families in Solano County. Owner Matthew Decker is a licensed clinical social worker in Northern California, focused on helping veterans achieve their mental health goals. Along with his team, […]

    Read more