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Therapy dog 'Milli' is a popular, calming presence at Indep. elementary school

Posted: 7:17 AM, Oct 03, 2017
Updated: 2017-10-03 09:04:39-04

Every morning when the kids come running off the bus at Proctor Elementary School, they are greeted by Milli, the school's specially-trained therapy dog. Milli is a yellow lab that patrols the hallways and visits with the children.

"She goes and senses the kids out who are struggling," said Amy Hawley, the Principal of Proctor Elementary, who is also Milli's handler. "The morale that she brings about the building is just amazing."

Milli has been specially trained to recognize students who are struggling. She seeks them out and helps calm them down.

"She helps you be calm when you are frustrated," said Jakoby Rimmer, a fifth grader at Proctor.

"When I had a hard time. she helped me get through them," said Zander Williams, a fourth Grader.

If a student is struggling and Milli is not around, the students can ask their teacher if they can go pet Milli.

"Often times kids go and seek her out," Hawley said. "They want to come and talk and share with her, so even though I am in the room, they talk to her as if I’m not in the room and tell her all kinds of things... What’s bothering them, or what they are excited about, or what happened last night."

Like the students, Milli is always learning. She has been learning new commands that the staff and students can then use during the day.

"I like her a lot because she is more beautiful than my dog," said Gracie Burns, a second grader. "She's my best friend."

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