A therapy dog visiting a school is not unusual, but this particular dog is heavier than some of the teachers. A new therapy dog has been brought to the Riverbend Elementary School in Rockingham County, Virginia. But this dog stands out because of its 200-pound weight! Larger than the students and several teachers at the school where he works, Gabe the therapy dog is a mastiff. Despite his size, he is a big darling who the children adore.
The children must submit a letter to Gabe outlining their need for one-on-one time with him to be chosen to participate in a session with him. Naturally, Gabe examines all of his messages and selects the children he believes to be in the most need. They get to spend some time alone with Gabe after being selected, which helps them unwind before returning to class. Gabe values and is very serious about his work. But he also goes above and beyond to help and console the youngsters.
He also imparts responsibilities to them. Gabe has to be given water and taken for walks by the pupils. He shows them that caring for an animal is a significant responsibility and that even though he is a giver, he too needs care. Additionally, Gabe “shares” all the letters he receives with the teachers so they are aware of the issues their pupils are facing and may better assist them. Since Gabe enjoys his job, it’s also a win for the teachers, the pupils, and Gabe himself.
Service dogs and therapy dogs are not the same things. They can help students feel calm and understood while also boosting their problem-solving skills, enhancing attendance, and decreasing disruptive conduct. The dogs are there to offer consolation and emotional support. They are prepared, but they also rely on their social instincts and abilities to help the students they interact with on an emotional, cognitive, and health level, which leads to higher attendance and enhanced abilities.
Gabe is not the average size for therapy dogs. They could be any size and shape. The only important prerequisite is that they possess the temperament and sensitivity necessary to want the job, which Gabe most definitely possesses. We hope it was enjoyable for you to see how Gabe affected these young children’s life. As always, feel free to spread the word to your pals.