Therapy dog helps with stress of exam days at Gentry High School
GENTRY — Finals week is traditionally a very stressful time for high school students, and students at Gentry High School are no different. In an effort to help alleviate some of the stresses of semester exams, GHS librarian, Allison Blanchard, and her border collie-Australian shepherd mix, Laramie, teamed up to bring some relief to staff and students alike.
Laramie earned her therapy dog certification through Alliance of Therapy Dogs. She and Blanchard are a certified therapy dog team and are qualified to visit schools, libraries, nursing homes, hospitals and most places where someone might need comfort from a furry companion.
Blanchard became interested in becoming a therapy dog handler after working at a job that had a resident therapy dog team.
“It just brought so much peace and calm to the environment,” she said. “I had to be a part of it!”
The Blanchard team became certified after approximately eight weeks of intensive obedience and demeanor training.
Students and staff alike have enjoyed having a new friendly face in the library. While students are a constant presence in the library at GHS, there were more than usual loving on Laramie. Staff members were also commonly found in the library between exams and during lunch.
The overall environment has been drastically different than other exam weeks. Laramie has enjoyed her time at the high school and will become a more frequent visitor in the coming months. Staff members are proud to call Laramie a Pioneer, too.
Lillian Wright sits with Laramie, a border collie and Australian shepherd mix therapy dog, in the Library at Gentry High School on Thursday, Dec. 20. Laramie was brought to the school by her handler, Allison Blanchard, to help relieve stress for students and staff during exam week.