North High School to welcome therapy dog
Research has shown therapy dogs can reduce stress and provide emotional support. That’s why one local school will soon welcome a therapy dog of its own.
A therapy dog will soon roam the hallways at North High School in Sioux City. Her name is Remi and is only six months old, but is already going through extensive training for her new role.
“The process to become a therapy dog usually takes about a year to a year and a half,” said Crista Limoges, Consultant Teacher.
Crista Limoges, a North High teacher, who’s also Remi’s handler, said they will need to take three different classes. An obedience class, a class to learn manners and self-control, and a therapy class where she will learn the skills and behaviors that are necessary to become a therapy dog.
Following the classes, Remi will have to take multiple tests.
“As a teacher I have always been really focused on social and emotional learning culture and climate. Schools can be a very stressful place and that’s true for teachers and students,” said Limoges.
Remi will do much more than provide social and emotional support.
“Teachers can use her as a reward if a student has achieved a goal to help struggling readers become more comfortable, just those different types of academic things,” said Limoges.
Since Remi is still training she hasn’t met many of the students. But Limoges said the students are aware that she will soon be a part of the of their school experience, and are very excited.
“She’s just cute, and dogs are so fun to be around, she brings a smile to people’s faces,” said Limoges.
When Remi becomes a certified therapy dog she will spend the majority of her days at the school.