LIFE

Meet Boots And Rush, The Rescue Greyhounds Helping Kids At A Perth High School

They're now part time therapy dogs.

13/04/2017 7:21 AM AEST | Updated 13/04/2017 10:19 AM AEST
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And, pose.

If you walk into the library at Woodvale Secondary College in Perth, you'll find two gorgeous greyhounds at home on a couch.

Boots and Rush, both rescue dogs, are now embracing their part-time role as therapy dogs at the high school, reducing anxiety and improving wellbeing among students and staff.

"The dogs are in such a routine. They sleep a lot on their couch, visit the students in classrooms and go out on yard duty with our teachers," learning resource centre teacher-in-charge Julie Robinson told The Huffington Post Australia.

"This started out as a small project for our students to improve their health and wellbeing. We had no idea it would have such an impact."

The project began in September when Boots, a family rescue dog owned by a teacher at the school, started part-time work as a therapy dog.

"I had often thought about bringing dogs or animals into the school, so I approached our principal and started to develop a strategy. It turned out that one of our staff members had the most perfect dog for the job," Robinson said.

"Boots is one of three re-homed greyhounds owned by our English teacher, Liz Povah. Out of the three of them, he had the right temperament; he is gentle, quiet and interacts well with people."

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Here's Boots.

After a successful trial, Boots was joined by Rush, who belongs to a woman from Greyhound Adoptions WA. And now they're job sharing.

According to Robinson, the dogs' presence has been overwhelmingly positive.

"Like any school, anxiety is a real issue for a lot of our students -- particularly those in Year 12. Just having the dogs around has helped," Robinson said.

"Our kids just love them, and they have become so protective of them."

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It's been a looooong day.

At the end of a school day, Boots and Rush return home.

"They are family dogs when they're not a school. Our rule is if the dogs aren't happy, they don't come. We're told that never happens," Robinson said.

"This has been about the happiness and wellbeing our kids, but it has had so many other spin offs."

Despite its success, Robinson said such a project requires careful consideration.

"It's not as easy as taking dogs to school. You really need to think about what you're beforehand and consider every scenario that may crop up. And then get the right dog."

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