Tasha is a Leonberger, trained and handled by her owner and family. Tasha was able to spend some time at NDA at the end of the 2022 school year and was a big hit! Her owner/trainer has been bringing Tasha into children’s hospital settings where Tasha has provided much comfort to children and adolescents with physical and mental health issues. Research has shown many benefits to therapy dogs in school settings. Trained therapy dogs in school have been proven to help support students' well-being, promote a sense of belonging in school, reduce stress and anxiety, and even facilitate learning. Tasha has been trained to be calm, obedient and is able to provide emotional support, comfort, and companionship to students.
Interactions with Tasha are student led and very much dictated by their individual comfort level. Students’ visits with Tasha are always supervised. Students with allergies should know that Tasha receives regularly scheduled grooming and allergen-reducing baths to lessen the effects of allergens in the buildings she visits.