Duncan to Therapy

Check Out the New Blonde Boy Walking the Halls

MAN’S BEST FRIEND. For a 5 month old dog, Duncan is laid-back and calm. He is also very curious. “He has to check out everything” Ms Eggers said. He was particularly interested in the legs of tables.

Man’s best friend lives an extremely simple life. Wake up to greet its owner in a panting mess, take a brisk jog in the morning as the sun rises, and plenty of little other journeys that await the dog. On the contrary, humans would say their lives are more difficult than a dogs. Stressing about the next exam, rushing because of outside activities, and juggling with busywork on top of it. Students need breaks and surely a furry friend would be just the right distraction. Enter Duncan, the English Lab pup touring GPS’s hallways.
In retired GPS teacher Ms. Peggy Eggers Omaha World Herald retirement article, she mentioned that ,”I want to be a teacher that makes kids feel good about themselves instead of bad. I wanted to be the person that made the kids feel good about themselves.” This desire is the reason she brings Duncan to schools.
“Well I’ve had a puppy before and did training but never a specific purpose to go to school” said Duncan’s owner and former teacher, Ms. Peggy Eggers. “Well I met a service dog at the middle school and I fell in love with her,” Ms Eggers said,”I knew I had to do something when I retired so I wouldn’t get in trouble and so I can see all the kids, teachers, staff that I saw when teaching.”
People have therapy animals for a plethora of reasons: to provide relief to those who are anxious, bring comfort to people grieving, and bringing joy to students. These types of pets bring joy to the everyday lives of kids in school, but it does not always mean they are meant for everybody. Some students have allergies, issues, or they just are not a dog person. In the classrooms there is a plethora of reactions.
“There is a person who loves Duncan, there is a student who doesn’t know how to react and his actions seem more aggressive or seem more firm than they should be, and there is a kid of mine who has a dog at home but is scared of Duncan”, Palisades ACC teacher, Mrs. Gina Moore said. “ The student who loves him still loves him, we are teaching the other student to use nice touches, and the other student is starting to warm up to him by greeting him from afar.”
Most therapy dogs have more formal and advanced training but Duncan’s training is more paws on. Ms. Eggers brings Duncan into schools where he can become accustomed to the people that can be found there. He has taken one class from the Humane Society but all of his training has been fairly basic and personal.
“It is very hands-on training”, Ms Eggers said. “We go to the highschool, Palisades Elementary, and Gretna Middle School. It is very basic training; not peeing inside, greeting people, just the basics.”
Duncan is a popular guest in the hallway and helps reduce the stress. Imagine students stressing in class and they are interrupted by a cute blond puppy. School has just become way more simpler.
“Duncan goes to the four ACC rooms at the elementary school but he is frequently stopped in the hallway by students and teachers showering him with love,” said Mrs. Moore, “So not only does he brighten the day of the ACC staff and students but also to all the others who catch him in the hallway.”