Cud­dly ther­apy dogs help com­fort stu­dents at Carin­ity Glad­stone school cam­pus,

The Observer - - FRONT PAGE -

STU­DENTS THAT DO HAVE TROU­BLE COMMUNICATING THEIR EMO­TIONS RE­ALLY CON­NECT WITH THE DOGS.

CHANISE GREALY

THEY are tiny, fuzzy balls of cute­ness and they’re prov­ing a hit at Carin­ity’s Glad­stone school cam­pus.

It was mid­way through last term when prin­ci­pal Jane Green­land in­tro­duced two ‘ther­apy dogs’ to the school’s cam­pus.

Only they aren’t quite dogs yet. Pablo and Moana are four­month-old moo­dle pup­pies (mal­tese poo­dle crosses) who have clearly set­tled in well to life at school.

Ther­a­peu­tic youth worker Chanise Grealy has been at the Carin­ity school for just over a year and said the pup­pies were a wel­come ad­di­tion.

“Dogs are un­con­di­tional love ma­chines, when (the stu­dents) are feel­ing down or up­set or need­ing to calm down, hav­ing some­thing warm to cud­dle has been su­per help­ful,” she said.

Ms Grealy said the pup­pies were brought in af­ter staff no­ticed some of the stu­dents were hav­ing trou­ble iden­ti­fy­ing their emo­tions and be­ing able to ex­press them.

“I find a lot of the stu­dents that do have trou­ble communicating their emo­tions re­ally con­nect with the dogs,” she said.

“Hav­ing (the dog) as a dis­trac­tion, to then have con­ver­sa­tions about, is re­ally use­ful.”

Ms Grealy said the pup­pies had not re­ceived any spe­cial train­ing to be ther­apy dogs but were pick­ing it up on the job.

“Young peo­ple are un­pre­dictable but add a dog into the mix and they just im­me­di­ately are calm and chill,” she said.

“If some­one is hav­ing a bad day you can just throw a puppy at them, they are so help­ful to have.”

Year 7 stu­dent Kalia only started at Carin­ity re­cently and thought it was un­usual to have pup­pies at school.

“It’s re­ally cool,” she said

“They make things calmer, if you don’t feel com­fort­able you can just hold a puppy.”

Fel­low Year 7 stu­dent Ashtyn agreed.

“At first I thought it was un­usual but then I found out they were ther­apy pup­pies,” she said.

“They are ac­tu­ally re­ally adorable and can help peo­ple and they don’t bite as much as other dogs.”

Ms Grealy said the school had plans to in­tro­duce more an­i­mals to school life.

“We have a lot of land, we are plan­ning on build­ing a chicken coop and get­ting some chick­ens in soon and way down the track we want to have more an­i­mals,” she said.

Photo: Vicki Wood

Photo: Vicki Wood

TALK­ING POINT: Kyan and Alan with ther­apy pup­pies Pablo and Moana at Carin­ity’s Glad­stone school cam­pus.

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