2010 FSSA’s Service Dog Winner

FSSA Service Dog of the Year Award

 

Wolftree's Drops of Jupiter, aka "Io"
Owner: Sheila Miller
Nominated by Sheila Miller
Breeders: Sheila Miller

2010 was the year Io went to school and touched the lives of over 400 people.  Her service began in January 2010 when she and her 8-week old siblings entered my classroom and became the focus of my 9th grade Biology students' "puppy project". For two weeks, the puppies taught my students empathy, patience, positive training methods, and how to nurture another living thing.  One by one, Io's siblings moved away to start their new lives but Io stayed on the rest of the year as our therapy dog in training, our comic relief, and our friend.

The 2010/2011 school year began with 25 Special Education students mainstreamed in my classes.  Among them are students with autism, traumatic brain injuries, and severe learning and behavioral issues.  Io had to come back to school.  Her jo with my new students was to greet them as they came into my classroom and as we would walked around our campus.  Io taught them about canine and human behavior, respect, boundaries, and unconditional love.  Her mere presence was enough to reduce stress in the classroom as as in the teacher's lounge.  She made my classroom feel more like home.

Io's service ended in January, 2011.  Io has seven brothers and sisters at home and I currently don;t have the time to work with her at school.  Not a dat does by that several students, teachers, and even administrators ask about Io.  They ask, "How is Io?" "When is Io coming back?" "Is she doing OK at home?"  I keep them abreast of the numbers of holes she has dug in my yard, how she has shredded her bed and toys, and how much fun she is having in beginner obedience school.  That brings a smile to their faces.  Her picture is in our yearbook.  She is listed as "Io, Teacher's Pet".  She is that and so much more.