Who Let the Dog Out?

Written by Savannah Sosna

Recently, the Ridge has gained a new staff member- one with four legs and a wagging tail.

Shelby Fox is Pleasure Ridge’s one and only therapy dog. Her job is to make students’ lives a little easier. Therapy dogs have been proven to be very beneficial in a classroom setting. These benefits are seen not only emotionally, but socially and cognitively as well.

Studies have shown that after visiting with a therapy dog, students have higher self-esteem along with more focused interaction with classmates and teachers. It has also been found that time spent with a therapy dog can actually stimulate memory and problem solving skills. Who new that man’s best friend could play such a large role in psychological aspects?

Therapy dogs are specifically trained to provide love, affection, and comfort to those in need and Shelby is doing an excellent job! Students at PRP seek her out.

Junior Aubrey Hatfield has had some positive experiences with Shelby. “ I think having a therapy dog is super beneficial. I had one when I was younger and they really help, especially for people with anxiety. Seeing Shelby in the halls gives a sense of comfort, especially when school is super stressful. I once read a book that talked about how seeing a dog lightens your mood and enables you to release endorphins which cause you to feel joyful. I think it is really cool of PRP to be so considerate towards student emotional health and to allow us to have a therapy dog. Shelby definitely makes my day every time I see her,” Hatfield said.

Aubrey is not the only one who thinks Shelby is great. Senior Shane Box stated, “Shelby is the best thing to happen to this school.”

According to Mrs. Fox, Shelby’s owner, she enjoys hanging out with family, going for walks, and eating lots and lots of treats!

If you happen to see Shelby walking around outside or inside classes, feel free to say hello, and give her a pat or a hug!

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Make sure to check out Shelb’s Instagram for more pictures! @shelbythetherapydog

Works Cited:

www.therapydogs.com/therapy-dogs-classrooms-campuses/

http://theconversation.com/therapy-dogs-can-help-reduce-student-stress-anxiety-and-improve-school-attendance-93073

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