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Lady is valuable asset to students at Manson Northwest Webster

New therapy dog reduces the stress at school

Students in the Manson Northwest Webster Community School District have a new source of support for those days when homework, tests and just about everything else seems overwhelming.

Lady is ready to help on those days.

Lady doesn’t come to the job with a wall full of degrees and diplomas, although she does have special training. But the secret to her success is simply interacting with kids the way any friendly, loving dog does.

She is a year and a half old goldendoodle who is the school district’s first therapy dog. This is her first year on the job.

She was donated to the school district by Manson Police Chief Gerald Frick after his dog had puppies.

”I’d much rather have a student addicted to petting the dog, than a student addicted to nicotine inhalers,” Frick told The Messenger.

Lady was initially trained at the Iowa Medical and Classification Center in Oakdale. Then she had more training at Knallhart Kennels and Training Academy in Iowa City.

She now lives with Allison Davis, the district’s business manager. Her veterinary care is being provided by Dr. Steve Leppertof of Manson Veterinary Clinic. NestlePurina Pet Care, which has a facility in Fort Dodge, will provide Lady’s food until she retires.

So far, Lady has been a hit.

”We have seen the impact Lady has had in her early stages here at MNW and I cannot wait to get her into the building more frequently,” said Kevin Wood, the junior and senior high principal.

Bringing a therapy dog into the schools is an innovative program that required lots of work and planning.

We thank Gerald Frick, the school district’s leadership, Dr. Steve Leppertof and NestlePurina Pet Care for making this possible.