Dog lends a paw to help students

Many times, when you see one of man's best friends, you can't help but smile.

That gave Canyon Independent School District Elementary School Counselor Wendy Peeples the idea to bring a therapy dog to school.

That dog is named Seven. He is a Golden Doodle and is a specially trained counseling therapy dog that helps out at Hillside and Arden Road Elementary.

Pronews 7 is featuring how Seven is lending a paw to students, in this week's Region 16 Spotlight Education report.

Just looking at Seven's face, you can see why students and teachers are in love with Seven. With his furry coat and sad eyes, Wendy Peeples says Seven is everyone's best friend.

"A lot of times the kids will tell Seven a lot more information then they'll tell me or Seven can make them feel better than I can. Because it's hard to pet a dog and be mad at the same time," said Wendy Peeples, Elementary Counselor.

Peeples says 10 years ago, she started to research pet therapy, and she realized it was her own childhood dog that helped her. She says it's that unconditional love of a pet and acceptance that helps students open up.

"Seven takes away the boundaries of being scared or shy or anything like that and he just helps me with helping kids," said Peeples.

"When you scratch his belly and you're having a sad day, it will make you feel better," said Chase Vannor, Hillside Elementary Student.

But Seven isn't just used for therapy, he's also a learning incentive.

"A lot of the kids we're using it as a behavior and learning incentives. Seven has to pass a test. I tell the kids just like they have to study and learn that Seven's having to study and learn," said Peeples.

As you can imagine, Seven loves all the attention. Peeples says it looks like he thinks he's a star. He will continue to travel between both elementaries this school year and in years to come.