When picture day arrived at Goshen Middle School, students and faculty excitedly slipped on their best shirts and practiced their smiles. One member of the Goshen community was feeling especially thrilled for her picture — Meg, the facility dog, who was about to become the first dog to get a picture in the school’s yearbook.
She struck a pose, and the camera clicked. When the yearbook arrived, it was clear — Meg nailed it
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As a facility dog, Meg is specially trained to provide physical, social and emotional assistance to people in schools, nursing homes, courthouses and other communities. Meg, who completed her training at Circle Tail, became Goshen Middle School’s first facility dog almost two years ago.
When Meg isn’t at school, she lives with Kelly DeNu, Goshen’s seventh grade math teacher, who sees firsthand the impact Meg has on the students.
“Meg can calm students down when they are upset, she can make anyone smile in the hallway who sees her, [and] she can provide a student or staff member with a quick reset that might be exactly what they need in that moment,” DeNu told The Dodo. “Kids today need a little extra care and a little extra support — and we have found that resource in Meg!”
Sometimes Meg’s role involves pacifying a stressful room — her cheerful, calming demeanor has ensured success in the job.
“She is literally smiling all of the time, super happy, super inquisitive, and highly skilled and trained,” DeNu said. “Her personality is the best!”
When Meg isn’t busy at school, she enjoys taking walks, practicing her tricks, snuggling with her cat siblings and going on runs around town with her mom.
DeNu is constantly in awe of Meg’s ability to make the school community a calmer, happier and more productive place.
“I never expected that having Meg would have such a positive impact not only on me, but every student and every other staff member too!” DeNu said.
And for Meg, who can’t wait to see her favorite students and teachers every day, it doesn’t feel like work at all.
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