Mac the Dog Goes to School

POSTED BY: Nichole Hannahs
Monday, April 13, 2009 - 09:10 AM
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Mac the Dog Goes to School
A special dog is helping teachers and students at one local school. WHIZ's Nichole Medaugh has the story.

In this small circle at Tri-Valley Middle School students are getting help from a tail wagging tutor.

For about an hour once a week, Mac, a 3 and a half year old Collie comes to the classroom and makes kids who aren't always comfortable reading out loud feel at ease.

"We sit in a circle and they've been told on Friday's Mac is their dog," explained Owner and Member of the Muskingum County CareTeam Collaborative Katie West. "Once they've had their greeting time they start to take turns reading."

As the students read, Mac travels around the circle sometimes adding a little comic relief.

After each student finishes they have Mac peform a trick, helping them learn as much about training dogs as reading.

"Hopefully what they're learning is not to be inhibited about reading and the dog has a relaxing effect on them," said West.

Another part of Mac's school day is being put through the paces by students in the Multiple Handicap classroom, who take him through tunnels and over trashcans.

And Mac seems to get a smile from everyone he meets.

Said West, "To me personally, I don't think you can put a price on what it brings to kids."

And just maybe that's Mac's lasting lesson.

Mac comes to the school through the Muskingum County CareTeam Collaborative and is certified through Therapy Dogs International.

West is currently training another puppy to visit schools as well.

To find out more about Therapy Dog International click on the featured links section of our website.

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