New York City students need comfort? In trots Petey the Shih Tzu. The dog “Petey” at MS 88 middle school in the neighborhood of Brooklyn in New York, U.S., August 10, 2017. When students at Middle School 88 in Brooklyn end up in the principal’s office, Petey Parker often totters over, tail wagging, to comfort them.
The rescued Shih Tzu mix is the darling of over 1,400 students who call out his name and lean over to pet him as he walks on the school hallways.
“He’s like a student, but in a dog form,” said Maciel, an 8th grader at MS 88, donning a Principal’s council t-shirt with an image of Petey’s face printed on it.
Petey became part of the MS 88 community last December as one of the first participants in the Comfort Dog program, which is expanding to 30 more New York schools this fall after a pilot of just seven last year.
“It is amazing to me that one dog can bring empathy and serve to 1,400 students,it makes school more fun,” MS 88 Principal Ailene Altman Mitchell said. “He’s king of this castle,and we absolutely love him”
This initiative, led by Chancellor Carmen Fariña of the New York City Department of Education, brings rescue dogs into the classroom to promote social emotional learning.Wich something very convenient for all students!
New York City’s Comfort Dog program is based on the Mutt-i-grees curriculum, which was developed by Yale researchers in partnership with North Shore Animal League America and aims to integrate rescue dogs into classroom lessons on empathy, resilience and conflict resolution.