Advertisement

Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

Students helping to further dog’s education

Four-legged friend at school creates a win-win situation

Lisa Clark, a teacher at Schwegler School, has been training therapy dogs for several years. On Thursday she and Gretchen Boxberger, 8, worked with Clark's latest project, a boxer named Tally. Gretchen is helping raise funds for Clark to attend a therapy-dog training course that will allow Tally to become fully certified.

Lisa Clark, a teacher at Schwegler School, has been training therapy dogs for several years. On Thursday she and Gretchen Boxberger, 8, worked with Clark's latest project, a boxer named Tally. Gretchen is helping raise funds for Clark to attend a therapy-dog training course that will allow Tally to become fully certified.

February 16, 2007

Advertisement

Lisa Clark, a teacher at Schwegler School, has been training therapy dogs for several years. On Thursday she and Gretchen Boxberger, 8, worked with Clark's latest project, a boxer named Tally. Gretchen is helping raise funds for Clark to attend a therapy-dog training course that will allow Tally to become fully certified.

Lisa Clark, a teacher at Schwegler School, has been training therapy dogs for several years. On Thursday she and Gretchen Boxberger, 8, worked with Clark's latest project, a boxer named Tally. Gretchen is helping raise funds for Clark to attend a therapy-dog training course that will allow Tally to become fully certified.

Therapy Dog

Lisa Clark, who teaches second grade at Schwegler Elementary School, is socializing Tally, a 17-month-old boxer, in her class. Tally is in training to be a therapy dog and will go through a class to be certified this summer. Enlarge video

Tally doesn't quite look or act like the others in her second-grade class. Maybe it's the perky ears. Or the fur and the stub of a tail. Or the scratching.

However, like the other students in Lisa Clark's class at Schwegler School, Tally is there to get an education - the 17-month-old boxer is learning the basics of being a therapy dog.

Tally is owned by Canine Assistance, Rehabilitation, Education and Services Inc. in Concordia.

Tally is the 12th service puppy that Clark has socialized at Schwegler in about as many years. The other dogs went on to get training as certified therapy dogs, which can help people with physical disabilities and be used in group homes or even schools.

"The kids and the grown-ups here at Schwegler have really taken to this little dog," Clark said.

Another teacher at the school brought up the idea that Tally might become Schwegler's own certified therapy dog. The canine services program agreed.

"Tally has been helping a lot of kids, already," Clark said.

For example, as part of her socialization, the dog listens quietly while children read to her.

"She helps kids when they are feeling upset or sad. Just having her there and stroking them can calm," Clark said. "There's even research that shows it can lower your blood pressure."

Clark's classroom is Tally's home base. But other faculty members can sign up to take her to other classrooms or can get her at unscheduled times when someone needs her.

The big next step in Tally's education is to get more training, such as learning 42 obedience commands. When fully certified, she can go into retail stores, hospitals or anywhere else in public.

But it costs $500 to go through the weeklong training course in Concordia.

That's where Gretchen Boxberger and Mary Reed-Weston, two girls in Clark's class, stepped in.

Gretchen and Mary came up with a plan to raise the money to send Clark through the program, plus pay for her hotel and expenses.

The 8-year-old girls talked with the principal about their idea. They even bravely stood in front of a class of sixth-graders to ask for help.

The girls organized making handmade necklaces, bracelets and other items at the school that were given away for donations of any kind.

"We have over $100 and we're trying to raise $600," Gretchen said. Clark said the PTA is also pitching in on the cost.

Meanwhile, Tally will continue to act as an educational emollient, helping to smooth out problems that might arise at the school.

"She's very lovable," Mary said, laughing as Tally licked her face. "She's a kisser."

Comments

bearded_gnome 7 years, 9 months ago

+++

great for the kids, great for the dog. and great for whoever receives the boxer as therapy dog.

WOOOF!

BS20 7 years, 9 months ago

Now I want to go to my parents house and visit my boxers... they are the best dogs.

kujayhawk 7 years, 9 months ago

Dog looks like it's about to bite the girl in picture at the top.

Sandra Willis 7 years, 9 months ago

You think? I think he looks amused, glad to be there learning.

hawkone 7 years, 9 months ago

Shouldn't have cropped the ears, what a shame. 17 months old...I wondered who they found to do it since it has been deemed inhumane. Own two myself and love em...great personalities.

BS20 7 years, 9 months ago

Inhumane? Doesn't the AKC require a boxers ears to be copped for competition? I liked them with cropped ears. I mean yes it may hurt, but there puppies... they forget. Just like humans, we can't remember anything at all before roughly age 5.

StacieDoeren 7 years, 9 months ago

I think this is a great idea. I am a dog lover myself.... And the cropped ears are painful but are a distinguishable trait of the boxer breed and I do not think it is inhumane. Do you think cutting puppies dew claws is inhumane also then?

arexroad 7 years, 9 months ago

If you have ever worked with a dog at all you would know how to read their expressions and movements. This dog looks like she is panting a bit but happy to be with the child. Besides, who would put a dog that is mean into a school environment where the dogs is surrounded by kids all day? This dog is beautiful and looks cuddly. I'd take her in a heart beat. All of our schools should be blessed with this service.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.