At Grimsdell we made the decision at the end of last year to welcome a School Dog into our community. Just as many people during lockdown considered the benefits of a school dog we too began to consider what a dog might bring to the school in terms of wellbeing and joy.
We researched the process for inducting and certifying a dog into the school and in January Holly made her first steps inside the building.
It was vital for us that Holly enjoyed being in school just as much as we enjoyed having her so she had lots of short trips and some quality time running on the playground with and without the children. She also received special training on being a school dog and we are delighted with her gentle and well behaved demeanour.
Holly’s primary owner is our Deputy Head and Holly lives with her and her young family. School is a ‘home from home’, just as it is in fact for many of our children. We like to think of Holly as ‘one of us’ and the children take pride and pleasure in her presence. Even those children who may have been a little uncertain at first, have found confidence and happiness in interacting with Holly and she brings a relaxed homely atmosphere that everyone benefits from.
As Holly turns one years old on National Poetry Day I decided to write her a poem to celebrate her birthday. The children are also producing cards and special messages or poems for her, finding creativity and love in the magic of a school dog.
At Grimsdell we’re filled with kindness and love
As cute as a kitten and pure as a dove
In every room there are people who care
But also a dog…sitting just over there
Her name is Holly and she’s soft to touch
She comes to our school and we love her so much
She bounds with energy and delights in a cuddle
She’ll race for a ball or roll in a puddle
Holly is ours, our school dog to hug
Happy Birthday, dear Holly, just don’t pee on my rug!