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GLADSTONE, Mich. (WLUC) – Students at Gladstone High School approached the school board with an idea to support their mental health.
Lainey is a golden doodle working to improve students’ mental health one tail wag at a time.
“She was nervous at first seeing 500 kids in a day really made her nervous but now she’s been here all week and she’s been doing a great job,” said Andy Jacques, principal of Gladstone High School Lainey is Jacque’s dog, and she is already making a difference.
The idea for a therapy dog started with the students.
“Since the pandemic, mental health between teens has really deteriorated. It’s gotten really bad, and we heard the idea from Escanaba. They have a therapy dog named physics and that kind of spread of the idea,” said Montgomery Pepin, a sophomore at Gladstone High School.
They brought the idea to the school board. Superintendent Jay Kulbertis says the proposal has been a great learning opportunity for the students.
“There’s really a whole lot of benefit, I think to having them in the process, seeing how it works and then taking all the stuff to put it into place,” said Kulbertis.
In just four weeks, Gladstone will get his own therapy puppy, which the assistant principal will handle. The puppy, yet to be named, is coming from Primo Creek Puppies in Crystal Falls and will be trained in therapy.
“They’re very excited and not only do they want to help us bring a dog to GHS, they’re going to help us financially so they’re just really excited,” said Rick Pepin, assistant principal of Gladstone High School.
Once the puppy arrives, Lainey will mentor and comfort it. Until then, Lainey is helping to make everyone’s day a little easier.
“Seeing her relax in your arms just makes you relax when she lets you and you feel connected to her,” said Zoey Gillis, a sophomore at Gladstone High School.
“Having these resources, I believe is important for every school to have because it allows kids to be able to talk about whether it be small my new things that are bothering them or whether it’s life-changing things that are happening in their lives,” said Ethan Jensen a junior at Gladstone High School.
Gladstone High School is raising money to help pay for the new puppy and get it certified. To donate, click here.
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