The Student News Site of Wachusett Regional High School

Wachusett Echo

The Student News Site of Wachusett Regional High School

Wachusett Echo

The Student News Site of Wachusett Regional High School

Wachusett Echo

Petition for puppies: students miss service dogs

Petition+for+puppies%3A+students+miss+service+dogs
Dahlia Angelica Vargas

For many years the school’s population has included more than just humans. Service dogs have interacted with students throughout their day, walking through the halls and visiting during lunches.
But, this year, service dogs Tully and Zoe no longer reside in the building.
“I miss having Tully visit us in classrooms and during study,” said senior Meghann Jones. “Now there isn’t a fun break, and we have to focus on school all the time.”
Senior Maya Nicoloro conveyed her sadness at the loss of both service dogs.
“I’m upset because I feel like they [the service dogs] benefited students a lot. Losing them in the same school year made it worse,” said Nicoloro.
Sophomore Travis Laidlaw expressed similar feelings.
“I think losing both dogs at the same time is worse than if we just lost one. There is a noticeable absence at school,” said Laidlaw.
Jones said having service dogs throughout the building to support students in need should be required.
“Service dogs can bring happiness to everyone at Wachusett, especially people who are having a hard time in school or at home,” said Jones.
Berger also conveyed how important service dogs can be in an academic setting.
“Service dogs can bring something positive to someone’s day,” said Berger.
Math teacher Lynn Swidey said she believes that having a service dog owned by a school resource officer helped build a good relationship between teens and the police.
“Officer Dan already had a good relationship with the students,” said Swidey. “But I think having a service dog helped students see police differently.”
Junior Caitlin Briggs recalled specific moments with the service dogs.
“One of my favorite memories of Tully is when he came into my math class last year and hid under a desk,” said Briggs.
Swidey said that having service dogs added something to the school community.
“It was an extra way to connect with students and made everyone happy,” Swidey said.
Berger agreed.
“It was nice having someone to talk to besides people,” said Berger.
Junior Kiara Kelly said she misses Zoe, the student service dog of recently retired Joanne Beaudry. “High school is a stressful environment and having Zoe helped students relax in between classes.”
Laidlaw said he wishes he had visited Zoe and Tully more often while they worked at school.
“I had seen them in the halls and said hi once or twice, but never really interacted with them much. I wish I had now that they’re gone,” said Laidlaw.
On the contrary, principal Michael Pratt said he hung out with Tully often during the school day.
“Officer Dan would let me walk Tully throughout the day. I had a jar of treats that I would give Tully and he would lose his mind whenever he saw me,” said Pratt.
According to administration, there has been no knowledge of another support dog coming to the Regional.
“I haven’t heard anything about the possibility of getting a new service dog,” said Pratt.
Swidey said she wishes for another service dog to come work at the school soon.
“Everyone in my work room noticed they [the service dogs] were gone,” said Swidey. “I hope there is a chance of another service dog coming to Wachusett.”

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Dahlia Angelica Vargas, Illustrator
Dahlia is a freshman who is working with the Echo for the first time and likes drawing, animating, Frisbee, volleyball, and sharks.

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