Can you imagine a different kind of teacher in a school – one with four legs, a tail, and tons of fur? Well, you guessed it right. I’m talking about Diogee-the dog as a school teacher who is teaching kids qualities beyond obedience.
At present, there are many schools in the US that are embracing the idea of therapy dogs in schools and one such school is the Dickinson-Iron Intermediate School District in Kinsford, Michigan.
Diogee, a 3-year-old Sheepadoodle is the school’s unique and new staff member of the Dickinson-Iron Intermediate School District.
Hannah Rogalla, who is Diogee’s owner joined the the Dickinson-Iron ISD at the start of the 2021-22 academic year and she provides mental health services to all students.
Diogee has got a natural, warm temperament you want to see in a therapy dog and he has been professionally-trained to become a therapy dog, says Hannah.
The process of certifying Diogee was done by the Alliance of Therapy Dogs, a Wyoming-based organization for training and certifying therapy dogs.
During his training, Diogee worked on leash manners and responded to different stimuli during his training.
Now at present, Diogee and Hannah have progressed into 2022-23 academic year successfully working together.
According to Science, therapy dogs have been shown to lower stress in humans (especially kids), promote academic participation, boost confidence levels, help people express their feelings, minimize behavioural problems, and reduce learner anxiety.
If you have a dog, you know what they add to our lives and how they seem to make everything better after a rough day.
For a kid coming from a broken family, an immigrant family, refugee families as well as those living below the poverty line, there can be trauma and difficulties acting as hurdles in the learning process.
Therapy dogs like Diogee help the kids bridge the gap and jump these emotional hurdles, often relieving some of the pressure that can be felt in a challenging school setting.
Diogee and his handler together conduct various programs for the kids, for instance, the canine reading program, where a kid can read to the dog freely, so you have a non-judgmental audience who will listen to you patiently.
Interestingly, students who participated in a canine reading program increased their reading fluency between 12% – 30%, reports the Alliance of Therapy Dogs.
Diogee is the best staff member at Dickinson-Iron Intermediate School District and he is always willing to greet a new face or acknowledge old friends.
His beaming and happy face brings smiles and joy to the students in class and to everyone who encounters him in the school premises.
“Diogee is the best part of my day in school, he is always excited to shake a hand or sit on command”, says Noah, a kid who loves to read to Diogee.
Share this amazing story with all the dog lovers out there. Thank you