The Chillicothe Guidance Office has a new cute and cuddly staff member: Rosie the therapy dog.
Rosie is a 7-month-old German Shepard. According to CHS Guidance Counselor Sarah Hawthorne, Rosie has been going through training to comfort students who are in distress since she was born. Rosie goes to her own puppy fort in the Guidance Office each school day, and she lives with Hawthorne, Rosie's caretaker.
According to Hawthorne, Rosie has been able to connect with students in a different way than the counselors can.
"A lot of times, we as counselors tried to encourage students to try and share their feelings with us, but we still have students that aren't comfortable with that," said Hawthorne. "Rosie kind of helps to break down those barriers and walls that students build emotionally."
Hawthorne said that Rosie was available to help students cope with the mid-term exam stress, last week. According to Hawthorne, animals like Rosie are scientifically proven to help lower stress levels in individuals of various needs, and Rosie uniquely connects with students who are not usually comfortable opening up.
"(Rosie's) really the only one that has been able to do that for us," said Hawthorne. "(Students) are more willing to talk to us about things they need or concerns they have because of her."
Scotty Preston, Corey Rose, Ceante' Beverly, and Cole Clifford pose with Rosie in the Guidance Office. Photos submitted by Amanda Cheek.