Assistance dogs in schools: ‘I have learned to talk things out, and it has really helped a lot’
Schools cover the cost of food for the dog, any veterinary treatment and general upkeep
It’s just before the end of term in King’s College Hospital and we are in the staff room, on a break between morning classes. Everyone is looking for biscuits. Not all of them have two legs. Nala, a black Labrador, knows that there are biscuits in a bag that staff member Clair Breen is carrying with her, and she wants some. So the dog sits and waits until one duly appears.
Breen is the school’s psychotherapist and wellbeing co-ordinator. Nala is the school’s community dog; on campus since September of last year. She lives with Breen when out of school hours, and has a bed in Breen’s office during the day.