Paris the Therapy Dog

Paris the therapy dog at stark elementary

Welcome back to another great year at Janie Stark! As always, I am very excited about being your school counselor and helping your children to achieve emotional, social, and academic success. There is nothing more important to me than helping ensure that your Janie Stark experience is a happy, healthy, and productive one for you and your family.

Since 2011, I have been fortunate to have an assistant in my counseling office – Paris the Therapy Dog. Paris is an 8 pound hypoallergenic Havanese that trained hard both at home and school to acquire her certification through the rigorous AKC “Good Citizen” program. Not only did little Paris exceed the AKC standards, but she is one of the youngest ever to qualify for this prestigious certification! Paris will be here on the Janie Stark campus most Wednesdays and Fridays working with our children in small groups, individually, and in the instructional classroom setting.

Research has shown that the presence of a therapy dog on campus lowers anxiety and is beneficial to the counseling/guidance process as it creates a trust building connection between the counselor and student. The animal’s loving, warm, gentle, and playful presence reduces the fear of counseling, brings shy or timid students out of their rigid shells, develops motivation for both academic and behavioral success, and creates added motivation for coming to talk with the counselor. Therapy dogs have also been shown to be successful in increasing self-esteem, empathy, socialization, reading, and problem-solving skills (Fine 2000, Reichert, 1998).
What is a Therapy Dog?
  • A Therapy Dog is a dog with outstanding temperament.
  • A Therapy Dog tolerates other animals.
  • A Therapy Dog wants to visit with people.
  • A Therapy Dog loves children.
  • A Therapy Dog gets along with other dogs.
  • A Therapy Dog adapts well to each individual person/setting.

If you have questions about Paris, her health or veterinary records, AKC “Good Citizen” certification requirements, projects she is involved with here on our campus – or if you’d just like to see how Paris can benefit your own child – please do not hesitate to contact me.

For Kids,
Alan Caplin, Counselor
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