This On-Call Therapy Dog Is Delighting Students in His Upstate NY Town

Posted by Krissy Howard

Students at a Hamburg, New York high school get to share their hallways and classrooms with a very special student - a therapy dog named Cooper.

Twice a week, and sometimes more, Frontier Central High School Assistant Principal David Smaczniak carpools into work with a special treat for the kids in his classrooms - a six-year-old Golden Retriever named Cooper. A certified therapy dog and Canine Good Citizen, Cooper roams the halls and classrooms in an effort to bring a smile to the faces of students, faculty, and staff of the school.

"I think Cooper has really changed the vibe in high school you can see how more calm people are. Just seeing him in the hallway people get really excited," Bailey Kinn, Frontier Central High School senior, said in an interview with local news outlet, WIVB.

In addition to being a friendly, furry face, Cooper also works on-call to assist with anyone in distress, students with special needs, or even anyone who just needs a little bit of cheering up. Cooper even sits in on particularly difficult classes such as AP calculus, just to ease the mood.

"You can see the kids calm right down if anybody is having a bad day they just go over and they pet him they can hug him, and you can just see their anxieties start to slip away," said Wendy Rayburg, an English teacher who works at the school.

By the time the day is done, Cooper is both mentally and physically exhausted and ready for a nice, long nap.

"It's outstanding to see how excited he is coming into work and many times he's really exhausted when he goes home because he's walked this large building and greeted so many students that he's ready to crash when he goes home," said Smaczniak.

Despite his fatigue, duty calls, and in addition to his responsibilities at the high school, Cooper can also be found working with support groups at a nearby elementary school, as well as football games and plays after the day is done!

Wouldn't you have loved Cooper roaming your school halls? Tell us what you think in the comments below!

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This On-Call Therapy Dog Is Delighting Students in His Upstate NY Town