It is not uncommon to see a therapy dog visit a school but this weighs more than some teachers.
Riverbend Elementary School in Rockingham County, Virginia, has a new therapy dog. But what sets this dog apart is that he weighs 200 lbs!
Gabe the therapy dog is a large mastiff who outwits the children and some of the teachers at the school where he works. Despite his size, he is a big sweetheart that kids love to spend time with.
In order to be chosen to spend a session with Gabi, the children compose a letter explaining to him why they feel they need some time with him. Of course, Gabe reads all of his mail and picks the kids he feels need him the most.
Once chosen, they get to invest some one-on-one time with Gabe, which helps them collect their fees before returning to class. Gabe loves his job and takes it very seriously. But it also does more than comfort and support children.
As duty teaches them. The students must make sure that Gabe gets water and takes him for a walk. It allows them to realize that taking care of an animal is a huge responsibility and that even though they are a giver, they also need care.
Gabe also "shares" all the messages he receives with teachers so they can learn more about what's going on with their students so they can help them better. It really is a win for the teachers and students, and because Gabe loves his job, for him, too.
Therapy canines are not the same as solution dogs. The benefits of using them in the classroom include improving attendance, problem-solving abilities, reducing problem habits, and helping children feel calm and truly understood.
Dogs exist primarily to provide emotional support and comfort. They are trained but also draw on their own instincts and social abilities to deliver emotional, cognitive, and health benefits to the students they spend time with, resulting in better attendance and enhanced abilities.
Not all therapy canines are as large as Gaby. It can come in any kind of sizes and shapes. The big need is for them to have the personality and empathy they want to do the job, which Gabe certainly does.
We hope you enjoyed watching Gabe touch the lives of these little kids. As always, feel free to show it to your friends.