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Therapy Dog Helps High School Students

December 10, 2020

Staff and students at Tupelo High School have a furry friend to help them through tough times. Her name is Wavely.

Last year Special Education teacher, Anne Marie Goad, started working on a proposal for a therapy dog for the school. When the pandemic hit, Goad had to put the proposal on hold, but she didn’t give up hope.

“It was still kind of in the back of my mind that it would still happen. I just didn’t know when. My eyes and ears were open for a dog that would come in,” she said.

In July, Goad said she saw a post on Facebook about Wavely needing a home. Even though it was two days before she had to return to work, she knew the school needed Wavely.

“More so than ever, because of COVID, we had to do to bring joy to our campus. It was a need before covid, but it’s even a greater need now,” she said.

Wavely is still in training to become a therapy dog. Goad said once Wavely is certified, she will be a presence for all students in the morning. There will also be a referral process for students who are going through trauma or a tough time.

Ninth grade counselor, Katie Schaefer, said Wavely will help meet students’ and staff members’ social and emotional needs.

“Even a small sense of comfort that Wavely can provide for our staff and for our students is going to go a long way,” Schaefer said.

Wavely is expected to officially start her job next school year.

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