Izzy she sweet? Moody therapy dog comforting kids in schools

“There is something different strolling the halls of schools in Moody this year and she’s soft, gentle and loves kids. Her name is Izzy and she is a two-year-old Goldendoodle, turned therapy dog.

Her owner, Sgt. Ron Richardson, with the Moody Police Department, saw a video of a therapy dog being used in Cullman County courts. He knew his dog was something special and thought it would be a great idea to share the love.

‘I met with Chief Hunt and we presented the idea to the mayor and council and they loved it,’ Richardson said. ‘We presented it to St. Clair County Superintendent Mike Howard and he thought it was a great idea.’

So, off Izzy went, to a two-week training course with Off the Leash K9 in Homewood. Her trainer, Justin Snead, told Richardson since Izzy was already a mild-mannered pup, training should be fun and easy. Izzy underwent a personality assessment to make sure she would be fit for the job. Snead also taught Izzy how to walk without a leash.

‘He took her into stores without a leash and she behaves and minds,’ Richardson said. ‘Justin did a phenomenal job with her.’

Of course, Izzy can go back to Off the Leash K9 anytime she needs a refresher course.

Izzy is not a service animal. She is a therapy dog. She comforts and brings smiles to the faces of students and community members in Moody. Students are able to visit with Izzy when they are feeling stressed or sad.

‘She’s really good at one-on-one,’ Richardson offered. ‘We have parent-teacher conferences and we will go in there and she’ll lay her head on their lap if they get upset.’

Richardson and Izzy visit each school in Moody. She walks the halls and even has her own Instagram page so kids can keep up when she is away.

‘She had a Facebook page, but the kids don’t really use that so they asked for an Instagram page,’ Richardson said.

This well-behaved pup offers much more than therapy.

‘They have all said Izzy is the best thing for our school and our community right now,’ Richardson added. ‘When she comes in, she just lights up the room.’

While Richardson is performing his SRO duties, Izzy stays by his side. He said she offers a unique experience for students and helps them learn how to interact with animals.

‘Of course I tell them not all dogs are like Izzy,’ Richardson said. ‘Not all dogs are very nice and sweet.’”

View the whole story here: https://www.trussvilletribune.com/2020/09/25/izzy-she-sweet-moody-therapy-dog-comforting-kids-in-schools/

Originally published at https://www.focusonthegoodnews.com on October 6, 2020.

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