The Midas Touch

Therapy dog provides comfort to students, prepares for certification test

Senior+Kaleb+Kittinger-munro+posing+for+an+image+with+his+favorite+therapy+dog%2C+Maxie.

Photo by: Abby Warner

Senior Kaleb Kittinger-munro posing for an image with his favorite therapy dog, Maxie.

Kyleigh Tindall, Opinion Editor

     Therapy dogs and support animals are becoming more and more common across various school districts. Many of these schools have noticed increased student attitude, attendance, and academic engagement when animals are in the building.  Now, Northwest Community Schools is joining this trend by adding animals to each building within the district.

   Within the high school, a dog named Midas, who everyone loves, has been a popular topic among students; he has also been a huge commitment to social studies teacher Elizabeth Hoffbauer. She is the current caretaker of Midas. The purpose of his being within the school is to bring positive energy to both the students and staff. Currently, he is being trained to properly service the facility.

   “He will be taking his certification test around one year of age, and then he is projected to work in the schools for eight to ten years,” said Hoffbauer.  Midas will be testing for certification sometime between May and August of 2023.

Many students seek Midas out for a couple of brief moments of petting or walking. He provides joyful company. Often times students will stop by Hoffbauers’ class to see Midas because he simply makes their day better.

   Seniors Evan Girard and Aubrey Martin are two who believe they have made a connection with Midas. Martin said she has a very close connection with him and spends much of her time playing and taking pictures. While Girard takes him on walks every day during his second period. He is building a bond.

   “I think I am Midas’ favorite,” Martin said.

   Although any school has the right to include therapy dogs, not very many districts have truly embraced this process. Many schools do not allow it. However, at Northwest, the dogs are here to stay and are being welcomed with open arms.