Service Dogs at North Creek

Caeleigh Rosenbach

While the residents of Washington state are under Stay-At-Home order, many of us are spending a lot more time with our pets. There’s simply nothing else to do, and many of our animals are simply thriving under the extra attention that they may be getting now. Three walks a day? Extra belly rubs? What’s not to love? And while many of us are taking this as an extended break, it’s important to note that some of our pets are still “working.” Over 80 million people rely on the help of their service dogs for both everyday tasks and emotional and physical support.

Service dogs can do some pretty amazing things for students. Some dogs have been trained (a nearly eighteen-month process) to detect things like seizures and low blood pressure, or there are psychiatric service dogs that assist those with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and many other conditions. Did you know that training a service dog takes around eighteen months? That’s essentially two school years! 

Verdot is one familiar face that you might have seen around North Creek. You can find him inside Mr. Harrison’s room, or you might spot him outside taking a walk between classes. As of March 18th, Verdot is three years old! He is almost done with his training as a therapy dog, which was one of the conditions from Guide Dogs for the Blind, the program that Mr. Harrison received Verdot from. His role as a therapy dog means that he’s there to listen to your problems, or you can pet him to relieve anxiety and stress. He has “a great presence to him that is both calming and lighthearted,” according to Junior Jackson Shepard. Overall: Verdot is a very good boy.