Putter and Shatzi high-tail it every week to Black River’s middle and elementary schools to spend time with kids.
The two therapy dogs, along with volunteers Laurie King and Betsy Rector, spend half a day working with students on skills, including speech therapy. They also work with at-risk students or those who may be having a tough time at school or at home.
Both (humans) spent their entire careers teaching at Black River. “It’s great to have a way to still be engaged with the district and the students. It’s very heartwarming to watch the kids smile when they see us walk in with our dogs,” said King.
The therapy dogs give the students something to look forward to and are an incentive for perfect attendance and punctuality.
“Sometimes when a student needs extra help they get discouraged,” said Becky Luth, principal at Black River Elementary School. “The therapy dogs build up the students’ self-confidence and encourage them. The students truly enjoy the visits from Laurie, Betsy, and their four-legged friends.”
Courtesy photo Students are put at ease by visits from therapy dogs Putter and Shatzi, along with former teachers Laurie King and Betsy Rector.