Sign In

Therapy Dog Begley

August 31, 2020

St Mary’s Special School in Rochestown is one of many reopening its doors today for the first time in months.

Since the school’s closure to 64 students and 25 staff, students have enjoyed daily check-ins with their therapy dog Begley who has been helping both children and staff for over a year.

Now, the school is prepared to return to what is a new norm after working “really hard” to make the school “a safe and happy place for our students to return to”.

Principal of the school, Kerri Hollywell, said that due to Covid-19, Begley has been furloughed “as he is not able to sanitise his paws” but will return to the school as soon as it is safe to do so.

Staff have been clearing their classrooms and preparing the school’s first aid and isolation rooms ahead of reopening today.

The school’s lunchroom has been moved to its larger hall and has been cordoned off into sections to keep each class pod separate and allow for social distancing with a one-way system also in place throughout the school building.

“We are lucky that we have beautiful grounds that we can take advantage of, hopefully in the sunshine but with a proper coat we’ll try to get out in the bad weather too. We will be walking a lot and even hopefully taking lessons outside where possible,” Ms Hollywell said.

She said that one downside to the new rules for schools is that the school’s soccer coach “will not be seen for a while” and swimming lessons have also been postponed.

She said that although staff were feeling “slightly anxious” ahead of returning, that they were also excited to welcome back familiar faces and new students alike.

“We are all looking forward to hearing about all the new things that they have done throughout the lockdown and also getting back to most of our old routines. We will all look after each other by following our hygiene rules,” she said.

Ms Hollywell said she has “really missed” working with her students over the last number of months and that it has been “tough at times” but she is looking forward to some “socially distanced chats and maybe even a therapeutic cup of tea in the sunshine with them all”.

“Fingers crossed for a warm and dry September and we will all learn new ways to be at school and get the best out of it,” she said.

Register Your Dog

  • Most Recent News

    Oscar The Blind Dog

    In the weeks leading up to a heated presidential election, another close race played out that had dog lovers across the country faithfully voting online every 24 hours for their favorite furry friends. For four weeks, from Sept. 10 to Oct. 9, nearly 1 million votes were cast in Garden & Gun magazine’s Good Dog […]

    Read more

    Genius Dog Challenge

    Six dogs are competing to become the world’s smartest dog – a title reserved for the pooch that learns words the fastest. Shany Dror is a driving force behind the Genius Dog Challenge, which is live streamed on Facebook and YouTube every week until December 16, when the winner will be announced. The canine challenge […]

    Read more

    Finding Homes For Dogs

    Adoptable Animal Rescue Force gives back to the community by finding the right homes for dogs. We’ve been a Teller County nonprofit, no-kill rescue since 1999. Social networking has allowed us to expand our services in recent years to include dogs coming in from high kill shelters in New Mexico and Texas. There are times […]

    Read more

    Service Dog Retiring

    Talking to police or giving testimony at a courthouse, can be a scary experience for many. Since 2014, service dogs have been allowed in the courtroom to provide emotional support for those in need. For Emery Baert, having Madison with her made a huge difference. “If she wasn’t there, to this day, I wouldn’t know […]

    Read more

    A Shelter Dog's Life

    The sound of paws and claws precedes Isabella’s entrance. She bursts out of the Worcester Animal Rescue League’s front door, dragging Sara McClure, WARL’s dog program coordinator, behind her. McClure has two hands on Izzy’s bright red leash as the pit bull mix comes barreling into the parking lot. McClure motions for me to take […]

    Read more

    Veterans Court Therapy Dog

    Howard County Superior Court II Judge Brant Parry stood in his courtroom last week and looked around like he had lost something. “You want to see her?” he asked, still looking around the mostly empty room. A few moments later, a brown fluff of fur came bounding through an open back door, prompting instant smiles […]

    Read more