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 step at a time.
“She was nervous at first, seeing 500 kids in one day made her really nervous, but now she’s been here all week and she’s done a great job,” said Andy Jacques, principal of Gladstone High School. Lainey is Jacques’s dog, and she’s already making a difference.
The idea for a therapy dog came from the students.
“Teenage mental health has really gotten worse since the pandemic. It got really bad and we heard the idea from Escanaba. They have a therapy dog called physics and they kind of spread 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.
“I think there’s really a huge benefit to getting them involved in the process, seeing how it works, and then doing whatever it takes to make it happen,” Kulbertis said.
In just four weeks, Gladstone will have a therapy pup of his own for the assistant principal to take care of. The pup, whose name has not yet been released, is from Primo Creek Puppies in Crystal Falls and is being therapeutically trained.
“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 really excited,” said Rick Pepin, associate principal of Gladstone High School.
Once the puppy arrives, Lainey will tend and comfort him. Until then, Lainey helps make everyone’s day a little easier.
“Seeing her relax in your arms just makes you relax as she makes you and you feel connected to her,” said Zoey Gillis, a sophomore at Gladstone High School.
“I think it’s important for any school to have these resources because they allow kids to talk about whether it’s little my new things that bother them or life-changing things that are happening in theirs.” Lives happen,” said Ethan Jensen, a junior at Gladstone High School.
Gladstone High School is raising money to pay for the new puppy and get him certified. To donate, click here.
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