After bringing the Love on a Leash therapy dog program to Hampton Bays Elementary School last school year, teacher Nicole Neroulas was further inspired to train her 4-year-old Aussiedoodle, Luna, to become part of the program and offer smiles to her students and others.
“I became friendly with the dog owners from Love on a Leash and told them I was interested in having my dog become a therapy dog,” said Neroulas. “Luna is super-friendly, loves people, and they love her.”
Neroulas began the process by enrolling Luna in an obedience training program, followed by six certified therapy dog training classes and 10 supervised visits through the Love on a Leash program. Luna completed her last supervised visit on March 20 while visiting Neroulas’ third grade class.
“Many of my students know of our journey, and I couldn’t wait for them to meet Luna,” said Neroulas. “I knew it was going to be an exciting day with lots of smiles.”
And it was. As Neroulas and Luna walked through the classroom door, the faces of the students lit up with excitement and each waited patiently for the opportunity to bond with Luna.
“It's amazing to see how Luna knows when it's a therapy visit and loves when people pet her and show her love,” said Neroulas.
Luna’s journey to becoming a therapy dog was made possible with the assistance of Heather Myers and her dog Sailor and Bob Lynch and his dog Ray, who have become staples at the elementary school, visiting classrooms every Monday.
Now that Luna is certified, Neroulas plans to volunteer at the many places Love on a Leash visits — and, of course, at Hampton Bays Elementary School from time to time.
Date Added: 3/22/2023