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Meet the Teacher - Astro the Therapy Dog

 
News date: 
28/05/2018

 

In this edition of 'Meet the Teacher' we speak with Astro, the College's new Therapy Dog and member of the Psychology Team.

Name: Astro - Therapy Dog

What is your role at the College?

Astro is an almost 3-year-old purebred Border Collie who is a certified Therapy Dog trained through K9 Support. He will be working with our Student Wellbeing/Psychology Team as the College’s official Therapy Dog. Astro will always be under the supervision of his handler, Jaclyn Freeman (College Psychologist), or a designated second handler. 

Tell us about an interesting project or topic that you are currently working on with one of your classes?

Astro will soon begin assisting students to develop communication and social skills, increase empathy, lower anxiety, and reduce aggression. Therapy dogs offer comfort and non-judgmental support with studies showing that even a short time with a dog can lower stress and improve mood.

Is Astro safe around children?

Yes, Astro has been around children all his life and during his training, which includes extensive temperament testing to ensure he is suitable for work in a school. Astro will always be under the supervision and control of his handler.

How healthy is Astro?

Astro is fully vaccinated and up to date with all flea/worm treatments, which will be maintained for his lifetime. He has a certificate from his vet stating he is fit and healthy to be working in schools. If Astro is unwell, he will remain at home.

What if my child is allergic to dogs?

Astro will always be well groomed and regularly bathed. However, we ask parents that if your child is allergic to dogs you encourage them not to have contact with Astro. Astro will always be on a lead when moving around the college and no student will be forced to interact with him.

What if my child is scared of dogs?

We ask parents to please reassure your child that Astro will always be on a lead and they can choose to stay away from him.

Will Astro disrupt the classroom?

No, Astro will be with his handler at all times and not permitted to freely wander around the school. If he visits a classroom, he will be remain calm and settled on his mat in a down stay, unless otherwise directed.

We are looking forward to the opportunities that Astro will provide the Psychology Team and strongly encourage students and families to welcome Astro into the Marymede Community with open arms!
 

Fast Five:

Favourite Food: Chicken

Favourite Movie/TV Show: Lassie Come Home

Hidden Talent or Something We May Not Know About You: Helping students calm down!

Hobbies: Tug of War, Going for Walks and most of all, chasing Swallows!

If You Could Pick Any 3 People as Dinner Guests, Who Would They Be and Why?:

Cesar Milan: The Dog Whisperer;

Snoopy;

My handler, Jaclyn.