In January 2018 Northwood welcomed a new member of staff in the
form of an 11 week old Labrador retriever puppy. This decision was
taken with close consultation with the staff and parents of the school and
of course all relevant risk assessments were undertaken. Miss Hussey
had read lots of articles about the benefits of having pets to reduce
anxiety and increase well-being and had been thinking about the
addition for a long time.
Betty-Boo was born in November 2017, to a local family at Comforts
Farm, so she is a real part of the local community. We have been
incredibly lucky to have had the support and expertise of the local
charity, Ability Dogs for Young People. We really couldn’t have done it
Betty now and attends school every day! She is able to
move around school without a lead and spends time in class rooms.
She joins Mrs Marshall for some ELSA (emotional literacy support)
sessions and is walked by the children in good weather. Her bed is kept
in the office, where she does spend a lot of her day sleeping, waking up
to bark at anyone she doesn’t know coming in to school. She is an
angel when children or adults are upset or anxious and is always keen to
cheer people up. We have had real success with children who were
previously scared of dogs and now will stroke her and ask to walk her.
The school would be a very strange place without our well-being dog
and we think she has been one of the best decisions we have ever