Students at Liberty-Benton Elementary School have had a fun time this school year getting to know Otis, the elementary school’s School Facility Dog.
School Counselor Barb Gazette says Otis has been with the school since the beginning of September and helps the students with their emotional needs.
“He greets the kids of the buses, he goes on classroom visits, I take him in the hallways. Just places where they can see him and have some time to lift their spirits.”
Barb says Otis really helped some students who were dealing with separation anxiety at the beginning of the school year and he’s great with helping kids to relax who may be upset or stressed.
“He helps students when I’m working with them in my office to open up and express themselves.”
Barb says they have wanted to get a School Facility Dog for a while but they remained patient because they really wanted to do it through the Ability Center of Greater Toledo which Barb considers the best because their training and support is so thorough.
“The Ability Center donated Otis to our elementary school but he is considered to be a $70,000 dog.”
Barb says Otis is a star and all the students get to time pet him at the end of her lessons.
“And that’s where the real love shows with these kids. He’s a hit. He’s really helped my job completely and added so much to Liberty-Benton.”
Barb says Otis’s sponsors include VCA Findlay Animal Hospital, Omni Feed, Liberty-Benton Board of Education and LBPTO.