CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - The first day of school is in the books for a new furry friend at Franklin Elementary School.
“She has helped in so many ways in working with the students to help them feel at home and comfortable and safe,” said Jamie Howard, an Elementary Counselor at Franklin Elementary School in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.
Howard’s dog, Teli, works as a professional therapy dog.
“They are surprised. They are excited. I forget what it’s like to see a dog at school. I guess cause I’ve always had a working dog,” she said.
Teli is trained to recognize students who are upset or struggling with anxiety.
“And a lot of times she’ll just go, and she’ll sit next to them, and she’ll want them to pet her or pay more attention to her and kind of get their mind off of what’s going on," said Howard.
According to Howard, her skills make a big difference when she forms relationships and builds trust with students.
“Teli has helped me understand as well as be patient in terms of working with students on their own time,” said Howard.
And she also brings quite the personality to the classroom.
“She’s funny. She snores very loudly. She loves to eat snacks even though we’re working on that. She is amazing. She’s the best thing that I’ve done as a counselor," said Howard.