Dog on Staff at Blair Oaks Elementary
JEFFERSON CITY - Blair Oaks Elementary has a new staff member, but he might not be what or who you’d expect. The kids love him and... he’s housebroken. He’s Kramer, the school’s black lab.
Rachel Cole, the school counselor rescued him from the Humane Society when he was three.
“When we got him he had heart worms and all kinds of worms,” says Cole. She says it was coming close to the point where he could no longer be saved. Cole has had Kramer for a year now.
She thought about making Kramer the schools therapy dog.
“I think he’ll be great for those kids that don’t have a lot of stability at home or maybe there’s some changes they’re working through. I think he’ll be great because he is something the kids can count on here,” says Cole.
Cole proposed the idea to Lorie Winslow, the school’s principal. Lorie has dogs of her own and when she met Kramer, she definitely considered it.
“Kramer is a very calm dog,” says Winslow. “So I guess he’s perfect for the job.”
The kids draw him pictures. First grader, Samantha Laughlin wrote him a letter.
“I said, Kramer, 'You are my favorite dog in the whole world. Your friend, Samantha.'”
Kramer is also being incorporated into the school’s academic and character programs.
“Cole county has adopted the character plus plan. So we have a different character trait for each month of the year,” says Lorie Winslow. “We are gonna have a student each week that exemplifies our character trait and he or she will be the ‘top dog.'”
He’s also been used in writing assignments and math problems. All of the student’s parents and guardians signed a form that said they allow their child to be around Kramer.