Degrees and Certifications:

Mr. Truman

Dear Woodlawn Family,

I’m writing to let you know that Truman, my 3-year-old Wheaton Terrier, is “officially” joining our school neighborhood. He has been in the process of becoming a certified therapy dog, and he is finally official!! In order to have Truman at school, he had to pass basic obedience school, the Canine Good Citizen test, and be registered by a therapy dog organization recognized by the American Kennel Club. I went through “The Bright & Beautiful Therapy Dogs, Inc.” which required proof of insurance, 3 professional references, his Good Canine Certificate, and a veterinarian signed health statement. As you can see...he is fluffy, but he is a non-shedding, hypoallergenic breed.

Truman is definitely excited to come back this year, and he will be here at least one day a week. Research shows that positive interactions with animals increase endorphins, oxytocin, prolactin, and dopamine...the hormones associated with blood pressure regulation, pain relief, stress relief and joy. Research further shows that these interactions lead to decreased worry and anxiety, development of interpersonal/social skills, and enhanced relationships with peers and adults. I plan to have students help me “teach him”, brush him, take him on walks, and other skills...proven ways to teach responsibility and gain a sense of accomplishment and pride. He also will visit recess so students can run some energy out of him!

Please be aware that no student is ever obligated to interact with Truman. If you do not want your child to interact with a dog, feel free to contact me and let me know! I will be diligent with those concerns and comply accordingly. Truman has never even nipped at another person or dog...quite the opposite. If anything he is a bit “over-exuberant” and thinks EVERYONE should be his best friend!! We will work on that too!

Thank you for allowing him to be a part of our AMAZING Woodlawn family!! GO RIVER HAWKS!

Michelle Barnes
Family Engagement & Support