Sign In

Morley Elementary’s therapy dog

April 3, 2020

A familiar face for students at Morley Elementary is recovering from a major surgery on Friday. Bear, the school’s therapy dog, tore his ACL and can’t get back to work until he’s all healed up.

Bear, a three year old Newfoundland, is a busy dog.

“He goes to school with me at Morley, five days a week,” said Theresa Reinhard, Bear’s owner. “He also works some evenings, he does visits at some retirement homes, and he makes visits to the correctional centers as well. And on Sundays once a month he also visits the pediatric ward at Bryan Health.”

Since Fall of 2018, he’s been a constant presence for kids at Morley Elementary.

“It helps everybody calm down, like if you’re nervous for a test, he’s just a really calming presence,” said Simon Morehead, former student.

Bear is one of a few therapy dogs in Lincoln Public Schools. Students said having Bear in the classroom provides a calming presence and helps them focus.

“Just knowing he’s there to comfort you, it provides relief,” said Malachi Tinsley, a 4th grader. “You know there’s a dog, there’s a furball, and it’s all going to be okay.”

Teachers say Bear’s impact on students is clear.

“There are just so many things children will share with a dog that they don’t normally share with people, or the presence of a dog will kind of help them let down their guard,” said Julie Metteer, a first grade teacher.

A few weeks ago, Reinhard said she noticed Bear was limping.

“We thought maybe he’d pulled a muscle, like humans do,” Reinhard said. “We let it go a few weeks because we thought it will get better if he rests. But it didn’t get better.”

It turns out Bear had torn his ACL.

With a big dog, there are big costs. Bear’s surgery will cost nearly $5,000, so Julie Metteeer started a GoFundMe page to help pay for some of his expenses.

Reinhart said Bear’s recovery is expected to take between eight to twelve weeks to be complete. But, as soon as he can, Bear will be back in the classroom.

Register Your Dog

  • Most Recent News

    Students Get Therapy Dog

    When middle school students return to class on Jan. 11, they’ll find a new face at the door: Daisy. Daisy is a therapy dog and the personal pet of Rob Kreger, principal of the Rock L. Butler Middle School. The five-year-old golden retriever is not a school pet or mascot, but rather a working dog […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dogtor

    Last March, Caroline Benzel, a third-year medical student, began to notice the stress and discomfort her nurse friends were feeling from the pressures of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. “[Personal protective equipment] can be really rough on the skin,” Benzel, 31, tells PEOPLE. Benzel and her 3-year-old Rottweiler, Loki (who’s also a therapy dog) hatched a […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dog Pups

    When Stanley the miniature fox terrier’s owner passed away, the little dog started a ‘paw-some’ new role – bringing puppy love to some of the Gold Coast’s oldest residents. After Carinity Cedarbrook Diversional Therapist Julianne Staff adopted Stanley, he began visiting the aged care community at Mudgeeraba as a therapy dog. Therapy dogs help to […]

    Read more

    Puppy Cams

    A nonprofit is providing an unusual form of therapy for those on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic – puppy cams! “You spend five minutes with a puppy and try not to smile,” said registered nurse Robin Lingg Lagrone. Lingg Lagrone says watching little furballs wag their tails and prance on their paws helps […]

    Read more

    Pet Committee

    When Moore County’s school doors were abruptly closed earlier in 2020, two- and four-legged volunteers from the Moore County Citizens’ Pet Responsibility Committee (PRC) were in their 12th year of presenting a six-session Pet Responsibility Education Program for fourth-graders. The PRC quickly shifted gears and placed its program materials online as part of a home […]

    Read more

    The Right Rescue Dog

    If your New Year’s resolution is to add a canine family member, good for you. Somewhere out there is the perfect puppy or adult dog for your family. You have a lot of things to think about when you begin to look for that new family member, puppy or dog? Large or small? Purebred or […]

    Read more