The Whirlwind

Well, Luna didn’t believe me when I told her the beginning of the school year is just a crazy whirlwind.  She really didn’t believe how tired she would be at the end of each day. 🙂  It’s been a crazy start to the year and I’m finding I don’t get quite as much done when I try to walk down the hall with a puppy in tow but it’s been amazing to see the transformation that has happened at Hough in such a short period of time!  Luna continues to be a focal point and brings the students at Hough a positive vibe.  She is something the kids REALLY look forward to.  I really can’t go anywhere in the building without being asked “where is Luna” or hear “LUNA is HERE!”  I’m pretty easy to find these days.

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Luna’s favorite times are the first thing in the morning and when a small group comes in to play with her and give her all kinds of attention.  The morning routine is hilarious because you can always tell where Luna is, right in the middle of a swarm of children.  You can’t see her but you know she is there under the hands of about 20 kids.  I have to remind them to share, get to class before they are tardy and that she is available all day.  The kids really, really look forward to seeing her every morning. ❤

A school day in the life of Luna:

  1. Get swarmed by kids as the music plays (LOVE IT)
  2. Check in with some kiddos who need a good start to their day (LOVE IT)
  3. Hang out in my kennel while Mrs. Cantwell teaches groups (like it, don’t love it)
  4. Go for a walk down stairs to see Ms. Smith in the office for my daily treat (REALLY LOVE IT!)
  5. Hang out some more, play with my toys, have kids visit
  6. Potty break time
  7. Hang out some more
  8. Walk around the block during Mrs. Cantwell’s lunch
  9. Social groups!  (LOVE, LOVE IT)
  10. Lay in the hallway and watch the kids walk by getting ready to leave for the day (they always stop to say hello and give my head a good tussle).
  11. Check out with some kiddos who hopefully had a great day!

As much as the kids miss her when she isn’t there she misses them just as much.  🙂  The hard-working puppy LOVES her job and takes it seriously.

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Until next time,

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Mrs. Cantwell

Luna’s in Love with Hough

It was ridiculously hot at Hough this past week but Luna still loved every second of it!  I think last weekend she was sad and moped around the house because I didn’t bring her to school.  I thought she might have been sick or something with how she was acting but as it turns out she was just bored and missing her “kids”.  Luna has really started taking her responsibilities at Hough seriously.  We were able to visit nearly every classroom this week.  I had some really high hopes for her in at Hough, however, I sort of assumed it would take a little longer to see her full benefit.  She’s still such a puppy that I didn’t know what she would do when faced with the reality of a child in crisis who really needed her or groups of children swarming her.  Turns out, it doesn’t matter how old she is, she’s fully capable and ready to take on those challenges.

Two big success stories from this past week that are totally worth sharing.  I was so very proud of Luna on Tuesday.  Her day started with responding to a child in full crisis from a panic attack.  I’ve been working with this student for nearly a year and her panic attacks can last anywhere from 1.5-4 hours.  They are all-encompassing, loud, and exhausting.  I got a call that she was having one in the office so Luna and I went down to help respond.  The little girl was reluctant to have Luna help her at first and I wasn’t sure how Luna would handle the screaming and banging noises.  Luna didn’t flinch as I brought her into the office with me and sat down.  The little girl came and sat with us after a few minute and was completely calm and ready for me to leave in 10 minutes.  I have never really seen anything like it.  The little girl was so proud of herself for calming down so quickly and she was able to hang around with Luna and I for most of the morning but returned to class and finished her day in her classroom.  I was shocked!

Success story number two!  Hough has a self-contained classroom for children with significant behavioral disabilities.  This classroom has LOVED accessing Luna as a reward for good behavior.  When I was walking by with Luna as they were getting ready to start their day I told the teacher if he wanted Luna could do a greeting to them if they walked quietly and sat nicely in their desks to start the day.  The entire group of kids did just that and all got to start their day with a greeting and snuggle from Luna.  Later that day the kids who were still on best behavior got another chance to hang out with Luna.   When I talked to the teacher as the day ended he said it was one of their best days yet!

This girl is already making great waves at Hough and her benefit is being seen building wide.  I’m so proud of her and what she has been able to accomplish in just seven days of school.  Like I said, I had high hopes for her, but I never anticipated this kind of positive impact so early!  She is truly a blessing Hough Elementary School.

 

Until next time,

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Mrs. Cantwell

Luna’s first week!

Oh my gosh!  We did it!  We survived the first week of school! 🙂  This is typically a challenging week for teachers and students alike to adjust to new schedules and routines.  Well, we threw in an extra curveball and added a dog to the mix – why not! Ha!  Luna did FABULOUS at her “new job” this week. Actually, I have realized that I would love to be a therapy dog at a school for my next job.  Luna gets cared for and everyone enjoys her company all day and then takes naps in her down time.  What a fabulous life!

The first day of school we were able to be out in the front of the building meeting and greeting all our little Hough Hawks.  Luna loved every minute of it until the very large, noisy, yellow thing pulled up and let a herd of kids out.  The bus was quite frightening so she wanted to avoid it at all cost!  We backed away from the bus drop off area though, and were able to gain our composure back and continue with our morning greetings. Phew!

We were able to show her off at our beginning of the school year assembly and the kids responded really well.  We have a few rules around asking before petting and making sure Luna and I are not “on a mission” somewhere and nearly every child has been very respectful and responsible with those rules.

In all honesty, I didn’t know what to expect with Luna the first week.  I didn’t know if she would need to go home mid-day, be anxious around so many kids or have a hard time settling down.  It was all a mystery.  She blew me away with her ability to really do her job in the face of a crazy first day of school.  She has already helped some scared kindergarteners feel more comfortable entering the classroom, helped a kiddo who lost his great-grandpa this week and has been introduced to four classrooms full of students. (More on this experience in the next blog post!)  We are really looking forward to getting into more classrooms this week.

Things students have said so far:

“I’m so glad we have a dog at Hough, it makes it easier for me to leave my puppy at home”

“Luna really does make me feel better!”

“Can Luna come check on me in a little bit?”

“We are so lucky to have a dog at school!”

“I’m so glad I go to Hough, we get to pet a dog!”

“I’m glad I get one more year at Hough so I can see Luna.”

Overall, the impact Luna has shown over just three days alone is priceless.  She brings a special kind of “ju-ju” to Hough and I have a feeling this may be our best year yet!!

 

Until next time,

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Mrs. Cantwell