Worplesdon Primary School have two affiliate school dogs Bertie 1 and Bertie 2, here is a lovely testimonial about our affiliate school dog training programme.
I can’t speak more highly of Canine Assisted Learning. They have been absolutely wonderful . It was during the second lockdown that my family convinced me to get a family dog that could be trained as a school therapy dog. I spoke with my Governors and staff who were all extremely supportive to having a dog in school. I got caught up in the excitement both at home and at school and so agreed to move forward. When Bertie arrived, I was smitten but soon realised the enormity of the task that I had signed up to. Feeling the pressure to make this work, I started to find out about the organisations set up to offer training. There was one company that kept coming to the top of my list … Canine Assisted Learning due to the positive feedback I was given from people who were also using them.
I contacted them and was impressed straight away. There was a clear and comprehensive package of support which helped me to manage my own expectations of Bertie as well as the school community and my family. When Nic arrived, my shoulders relaxed. She was the ‘Mary Poppins’ for dogs. She was so caring, confident, experienced and was not phased at anything I (or Bertie) threw her way.
Nic would give positive feedback on all the things Bertie was able to do and carefully crafted the support needed for his next step each time. She was always clear that if we take it slowly, in small manageable steps for Bertie (and me too) then we would benefit and she was so right. Bertie is now a well loved therapy dog (as well as family pet) and works two full days at school.
When reporting the impact of Bertie to Governors, it is so easy. He is providing emotional support to significant numbers of children, has supported a school refuser get back to full time education, has been a listening ear to a child who had not shared her friendship issues to anyone else and much more.
I have no hesitation in recommending Canine Assisted Learning to anyone who is considering having a school dog.
Kareen O’Brien , Executive Head Teacher, The Federated Schools of Wood Street Infant School & Worplesdon Primary School
Bertie 1 Bertie 2