School Welcomes New Therapy Dog

August 22, 2022


Nathaniel DeGregorio

Counselor Sarah Baumgartner brings Paxton to school each day.

As students return to school for the 2022-2023 school year, the stress of deadlines and assignments is starting to ramp up for students again. Enter Paxton, the brand new school therapy dog courtesy of counselor Sarah Baumgartner. 

Paxton is a golden doodle and he’s almost a year and a half.

“He loves to play in water, when its raining he’ll be running around outside. He loves to go to the lake, beach, and anywhere else you’d find water. He also loves to play frisbee even though he’s not that good at bringing it back,” Baumgartner said.

Paxton is Baumgartner’s personal pet who over the summer went through all of the training and certification procedures to make him a fully trained and certified therapy dog for the students on campus to utilize. 

“I’ve always wanted a therapy dog ever since I started counseling and even since I started my masters program at school. I saw other therapy dogs and the impact that they had and so I wanted to be able to bring that to my students and clients, so when this breeder came available I just had to jump on it and when I picked him out I had therapy in mind so I made sure he had the right demeanor and ability to help others,” Baumgartner said. 

Paxton will be available for students to see in Mrs Baumgartner’s office, as well as during power hour and in the cafeteria. 

“He will be available anytime we’re in the hall, in the cafeteria during power hour, in the counseling center students are definitely welcome to come up and pet him, they can stop by my office during passing periods as long as I’m not with another student already, and we’ll be visiting some classrooms where students can see him there too,” Baumgartner said. 

According to the students, the dog has had a positive influence. Paxton is very friendly towards students and loves the attention they give him.

“I think that it’s very relaxing, and stress relieving having the dog here,” senior Shelby Szepessy said. “After a long day of school going to pet the dog is very calming and comforting, he is very helpful to us students.”

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