By Tim Jagielo

On Tuesday, Aug. 27, Fenton Area Public Schools started the school year with two therapy dogs. Charlie is at Tomek-Eastern Elementary School and Buddy at State Road Elementary School. Both schools have miniature golden doodles, who were trained by Fred Saber at Wing & Shot LLC in Ortonville.

This is Charlie’s first day of school, while Buddy started last December. Charlie is handled by Principal Craig Salter. Buddy is handled by Principal Barry Tiemann at State Road Elementary.

The idea is to bring comfort and calm to the children and staff. According to UCLA, the act of petting an animal releases an automatic relaxation response, and lowers anxiety. Animals can even help reduce the amount of medications people need.

Therapy dogs cost approximately $8,000, so both schools had to fundraise.

The dogs will be available for the students to walk, read to, and pet when they need it.

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