All students will learn the following about safety with animals:
5 Things to know about me (and all pets):
1. Be gentle and calm.
Please don't make sudden moves and startle me. Please don't pet me too hard or pull on my ears or tail.
2. Understand that I am not a toy.
I'm always happy to see you, but sometimes I don't want to play.
3. There must always be an adult present when children play with me.
I feel safer for both you and I when there's an adult nearby. Don't you?
4. Help take care of my basic needs and respect my moods.
I need my owner to feed me, give me fresh water every day, give me a safe place to sleep and play, and help keep me clean.
5. Treat me with kindness and make me feel safe.
Please don't pinch me or pull on my tail or ears. Please don't do anything I wouldn't expect.
In May 2015 I was awarded a grant from The Humble ISD Education Foundation called "PAWS-ITIVELY POWERFUL COUNSELING". This dynamic, multi-faceted innovative grant proposal tackled key affective and academic needs on our campus. A tier of this grant proposal includes the addition of a four-legged counselor/comfort dog.
Lila Belle has been in a very comprehensive training the entire fall semester to become an AKC Certified Comfort Dog through the amazing Let's Go! Positive Reinforcement Dog Training, LLC. She will complete her training by the end of January. Lila is the second Sheltie I have rescued through the Houston Sheltie Sanctuary.
While she is on campus, Lila Belle will have a specific role to play. She will always be under the care of her handler, me, the counselor! Lila is an extremely sweet dog who shows zero aggression towards others. The students will have special opportunities to interact with Lila Belle as supervised by Ms. Vandenbrook.
West Lake Middle School is one of several schools in the Humble ISD school district who have the incredible opportunity for comfort dogs through grants funded by The Humble ISD Education Foundation.
WCE Academic Lead Teacher Michelle Hise and I were featured on a special segment with Dr. Sconzo, former Humble ISD Superintendent, to discuss the benefits of using comfort dogs for children.