Therapy Dog on Campus Comforts Students and Staff


By Emma Ortuzar

When 26 people, 20 kids, and 6 staff members were shot at Sandy Hook Elementary, in Newtown Connecticut, people were devastated and heartbroken. An event like this will leave a permanent mark on this once-perfect elementary school. How did people cope with such a tragedy? Therapy dogs were a large help to the members of Sandy Hook. 

Therapy dogs have actually been proven to help with many things such as lower peoples blood and stress level  as well as increase levels of dopamine and serotonin. Making them a perfect addition to schools as it can help kids relax. They also have physical benefits like lowering blood pressure, social benefits like helping with focus and boosting self-esteem, and emotional benefits such as helping reduce anxiety, depression, and anger levels. Therapy dogs have even been seen to help kids with autism. Autistic kids who have been around therapy dogs have been visibly less stressed and more social. They also have been seen to focus more as the dog helps them not get distracted so easily. 

San Marcos High has a wonderful therapy dog named Molly. Molly is incredibly beneficial to our campus and does so much for our school and members of our community. Molly’s handler and teacher at SMHS Tara Razi describes Molly as a kind, caring, and calm dog. She said “her calm temperament helps keep others calm and lower their stress levels.” Razi also talks about how Molly has no biases and just loves to be around people which is important as a therapy dog so that Molly doesn’t lose her patience or get bored being around people. Many people on campus love Molly and think she is an important and helpful addition to our campus. Freshman Alina Quiroz said “being around Molly even for  five minutes put me in a good mood the rest of the day and added something to make school a little more exciting.” Quiroz describes how Molly’s fun and loving personality can greatly help a student enjoy their day at school as many students may find it difficult to enjoy school. Social worker Michelle Atkins, also known as Ms. Michelle, talks about how whenever people are around Molly they always seem to be in a good mood and that molly is a great help to students who need a quick pick me up. Molly has helped so many of our staff and students on campus and is super easy to visit. 

To see Molly all you have to do is figure out the days she will be on campus which you can do by talking to the counseling office, no appointment needed! Molly and any therapy dogs are an amazing addition to our campus. Our school is lucky to have such a loving and amazing service dog. Anyone who can should take a little time out of their day to visit Molly and add a little joy to your school day!