After 14 years of helping elementary school children Teaka is retiring. The 15-year-old dog has spent most her life going to the Capt. Albert Stevens Elementary School in Maine and helping children with reading, speech, feelings and much more.
Teaka was rescued from a kill shelter by teacher Page Dilts. After some extensive training, Teaka became licensed through Therapy Dogs International. Once licensed, she accompanied Dilts to school and has been helping the children there in many different ways.
Teaka works with the speech therapist and has the students practice their speech on Teaka. She also works with the school guidance counselor to help children who are dealing with divorce, death or any other trauma.
“Teaka can be a really calming force,” said guidance counselor Cynthia Martell. “Petting the dog can help them get centered. We pet her while we talk about what’s going on. Dogs are good listeners.”
On Friday an all-school assembly was held for Teaka. The children sang to her, presented her with goodbye letters and cards and donated pet food in her honor to the P.A.W.S. Animal Adoption Center in Rockport. It was a hard goodbye for many of the students who had gained so much from having her in school.