I'm not exactly sure how it happened or specifically when, but somewhere around the springtime of 2008, I began asking a friend from church, Mr. Phil, to come to my small group classes with his best friend Sadie. She's a Keeshond and works in schools as a trained reading dog and in hospitals or rehab centers as a therapy dog for patients who are convalescing.
Just look at that heartwarming, healing smile.
Sadie visited Feelings Class yesterday with her human, Mr. Phil, and once again she stole the show. He shared with the kids how she likes to play Tag but how she's never it. They had a fun time figuring that one out! I paid particular attention to the changes in the children when they'd first catch sight of her and then as they approached her.
Their eyes light up,
their voices get velvety,
and their demeanor softens.
And then, it occurred to me:
Sadie is a Climate Changer!
Her driver, and "bestest friend in the whole wide world" is Phil Johnson. When he brings Sadie to our school it's one of the biggest win-win situations we create. This fluffy little spark plug is so happy, so gentle, so caring with our children. And they lose themselves for a little while in her two layers of fluffy fur as they stroke her back and baby talk with her.
For five years, this dynamic duo only came once a semester, but this year, when our Quest teacher saw the potential therapeutic benefit of having Sadie on campus more often, she invited them to come by weekly. Together they help with literacy by listening to struggling readers, comfort friends who have lost a parent, and calm the apprehensions of our littlest learners who are afraid of pets or still just learning about animal care in general.
Sadie simply listens and loves.
And it's a beautiful thing.
It's just like in this Margery Cuyler book when the reading dog
melts all of Jessica's worries away.
Only better, because she's our Sadie. And he's our Mr. Phil.
Thank you both for being Climate Changers in our Corner!