By Courtney, a 1st and 2nd grade teacher, who has been with Bodhi since March of 2010
Ever since I have become a teacher, I have wanted a therapy dog. I had researched how beneficial a dog can be in the class and it seemed perfect when I heard about ICAN through my sister. She had a friend whose husband received a dog through the organization. I went to a presentation at the Indiana Women's Prison with my sister and her friend and knew that this was a wonderful organization. I then applied for a facility dog and Bodhi joined our family in March of 2010.
Everyone loves him. He is motivation for some kids to attend school every day and brings a smile to everyone's face. He creates a positive atmosphere not only for the students, but also the adults. This was the most surprising thing to me. I knew he would be great for the students, but the adults love and need him just as much. Everyone greets Bodhi in the morning before they greet me and I love it! It just shows me how much everyone loves and cares for him.
One year I had a little boy in my class who, like most kids, loved Bodhi, but they had a special bond. This boy had some trouble coping with his emotions and some days would great and some not so great. He came in one morning, sat in the doorway, and put his head on his knees. He was very upset and was not going to move from that spot. When Bodhi saw him he ran over and started to lick the boy's face (something he had never done before and has never done since.) The boy jumped up with a huge smile on his face and had a great day that day! I know that if Bodhi had not done that, it would have been a very different kind of day. Bodhi was able to sense that that little boy needed his love and did what he was best at, loving on the kids. It was the sweetest thing I have ever seen.
Bodhi will do things all the time that will turn a kid's day around. I have seen kids come into class that are afraid of dogs and within a couple of months they are loving him along with the other kids. Kids will read to Bodhi on a daily basis and just having Bodhi in the classroom creates a more positive atmosphere. I know that Bodhi has been a positive influence on the whole school and I can't wait to see what he does in the future.
To read more stories about how ICAN dogs are changing people's lives, please click here.