River Falls middle school adds therapy dog to staff to help students through pandemic

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It’s been a tough adjustment for many people during the pandemic and, for kids, it can be especially difficult to process their feelings.

At Meyer Middle School in River Falls, Wisconsin, there’s a new therapist to help.

The school is using a therapy dog named Croix.

Since Croix joined the staff, the school says more students feel more comfortable visiting the counseling office.

"It’s just been really reassuring to see him interact with kids it’s like brought their guards down and we’re seeing kids we didn’t see before," school psychologist Sommer Bowers said. "We’re seeing a lot of mental health concerns, so that’s why we’re just trying to come at in a different way to show that we’re supportive and listen to kids where they are at and help them on their journey. I just wanted to bring some joy back and I feel like we’ve really exceeded that goal."

Croix has become such a celebrity at the school, students have to make a reservation to spend time with the dog.