Rescue dogs help Kenora students deal with stress

Dogs from a rescue service are providing students at a Kenora high school a unique special in coping with stress

Added benefit is exposure for dogs that need to be adopted

Teachers at Beaver Brae High School in Kenora hope weekly visits from foster dogs will help relieve stress leading up to exams. (It's a Dogs Life Fostering Network)

Dogs from a rescue service are providing students at a Kenora high school a unique way of coping with stress

Scott Sparkman, a math teacher at Beaver Brae High School, thought of the idea of bringing dogs to school as a form of therapy after his daughters, who attend university, told him about a program they were part of during stressful exams.

“I thought that’s a perfect idea for some of our kids… you know kids nowadays have a lot of stresses in their life. I thought this would be a great idea to help relieve some of their stress.”

Although it’s not exam time for the kids at Beaver Brae yet, Sparkman felt it would help them deal with other stresses they might be having in their lives.

An added benefit of the arrangement between It's a Dogs Life Fostering Network and the school is the exposure for the dogs that need to be adopted. (It's a Dogs Life Fostering Network)

The program, being run as part of Mental Health Month at the school, brings dogs from ‘It’s a Dogs Life Fostering Network’ into the school at lunch for the students to interact with.

It’s an arrangement that could be mutually beneficial, according to Sparkman.

"It's a win, win. I mean, It's a Dog's Life gets their dogs seen by potential clients, and actually, one of the dogs actually has been adopted since we've done this."

The school says it will keep bringing the dogs in once a week, on Wednesdays, through May and into June when exams start. 

“It’s nice, you see the kids and even the ones that are a little more guarded… they’re petting them and I haven’t seen anybody sit down with one of those dogs and not smile."