The students had their slips of paper in hand with questions about Indy and I. Many of the questions were about our jobs as animal assisted therapy dogs in their school. We answered questions about our activities outside of the school, breed type, age and our training.
Of course, we got to show everyone our tricks. Our mom thinks we are very good listeners. We can do things with word commands or hand signals! All it takes is lots of practice.
Every year Indy and I are the topic of conversation for the first graders in Mrs. Maciejewski’s science class as part of her Living Organism lesson. We love it! The students use us as a reference to review what living things need and/or do for survival, such as reproduce, grow , eat , have a food supply, drink water, eliminate waste, have shelter, communicate and adaptations for survival. We show them pictures of us as pups and how we grew to be what we are today – all grown up!
At the end of the class, we get to show what we can do! The students “Wow” and clap when we do our tricks.
One last trip to the beach! Sometimes September is the best time to hit the beach especially from a dog’s point of view. The breeze hits our fur and makes our nose tingle. There are not as many humans on the beach and it allows for more running! We just have to watch for […]
I am sure that you had some special moments this summer that you can say were unforgettable! Well, I would like to tell you about one of mine. My mom decided that to enter the All Star Competition in York, PA. It is a Rally and Obedience competition and you have to have high scores to even enter. It was a big step for the two of us but we practiced bunches and bunches. We entered a lot of competitions before this event to get the kinks out!
So off I went with my best friend Brody, a black labrador retriever. Not only did we have a great time, but we did very well. I took 9th place in rally in the Advanced/Excellent level. In addition to Brody, a border collie named Mickey joined me to form a team. To our surprise, we took second place overall for the weekend! We were yodeling with joy.
After we were all done with our work, we got to dress up for “Woofstock”! We drew a lot of attention and looked awesome!
I can’t wait to get back to school to hear about your experiences over the summer.
Rally Advanced/Excellent 9th Place
Brody & Gra’Nola at Woofstock
All Star Rally Team – Second Place Nola, Brody & Mickey
Whew! I thought this day would never arrive but I did it! One has to pass the test for Companion Dog Excellent (CDX) three times. It was a rough journey. I had to do every exercise correctly and not miss any commands given by my mom. There were days I was distracted and other days that I was so nervous that I could not think.
When I went to my obedience training class, we celebrated with ice cream cake. I have the initials CDX at the end of name now! My classmates were so proud of me!
Open Obedience Class – Gra’Nola and her classmates
Being a therapy dog continues to be my favorite activity among by dog related venues. My mom says I am the happiest puppy when I meander the halls of the school and the nursing home. I love doing tricks and being loved.
Since I put in over 200 visits since I started this career, I earned Therapy Dog Excellent from the American Kennel Club. Another 200 visits and I can earn the highest award. I plan on working towards that goal! See you all soon. September is right around the corner.
Indy completed her training and passed the test for certification as a therapy dog through Bright & Beautiful a few months ago. But now, my sister, is recognized by AKC as an official therapy dog. So proud of her! She is a bit of a rebel but she calms down and behaves when she plays the role of therapy dog. Indy completed 50 official visits with LEH schools and nursing homes.
The Little Egg Harbor Township Education Association continues to provide grants that allows the students in Little Egg Harbor to publish books. These books actually center around me and my sister – Indy!! Our pictures are always on the front cover. Pretty awesome! Neither one of us is camera shy at all!
The greatest part about these books is watching the entire process of writing, from brainstorming to publication, that the students experience. To be a true author is such a cool thing to be – an experience the kids always remember!
The students are so proud of their book. They share them with the other children in the school. with their family and with other members of the community. They become true authors and are famous in the eyes of Little Egg Harbor’s Community. These books bring the public schools out into the community and the community into our school. Family Reading Night is my favorite event because the kids and parents can hear these stories.
I am anticipating great things again for next year.
A special thank you to the Little Egg Harbor Teacher Association for giving us the resources to show what our students can do!
Links to each book are provided on the website. Go to top tab labeled Published Books and you can preview each book published by the students of Little Egg Harbor over the past four years.
Mrs. Rice’s experience with Nola at the Reenactment of the Crossing of the Delaware sparked the students’ interest as she shared her pictures of this event. It proved to be a perfect topic for a social studies related book. Through their collaboration on this project, the third grade students were able to address various third grade standards within reading, writing and social studies.
The students, researching the topic of the Crossing of the Delaware, gathered information, took notes and categorized information into the chapters. They used facts, definitions and details to support each of their topics. The use of technology was a major component throughout the creation of this book. As the weeks went on, the students were seen describing relationships between series of historical events and writing over different times frames for various purposes. The project took a turn and the focus changed to George Washington. The end result was this book completed in informative text that examines and conveys complex ideas and information clearly and accurately regarding the life of George Washington.
This book, which relates the life of George Washington from Nola’s perspective, can now be shared with all the third graders in Little Egg Harbor when addressing the social studies curriculum standard on the leadership qualities and historical contributions of George Washington.
Mrs. Wentzell’s and Mrs. Wade’s second grade class has a kindergarten class that they read to every week. They always want to share what they are doing in class with the kindergartners. Since the second graders were learning about the months of the year, they decided to write a book that everyone in the school could enjoy, especially their kindergarten buddies. Who better to star in the book than Nola and Indy?
The students worked in cooperative groups to write about each month. They had to research what season, weather, and holidays happened in each month. Each group completed a page that had a repeated pattern for each month. This will allow the beginner readers to be successful when reading.
The students also had the opportunity to work with the dogs in the photo shoots. They assisted with the selection of costumes and scenes that suited the written piece. The students helped Nola and Indy get dressed and get into position with a few treats in hand. Some students took the opportunity to take photos which found their way in this book. When all was said and done, the dogs surprised and impressed the students.