By Jordan Weiler - Proctor Mallet
Have you seen Ziggy the new guidance dog? If you haven’t you should. He is a Papillion. Ziggy is a very friendly, intelligent, athletic dog that happens to be new to the staff in the guidance office. He is the mascot for the guidance office.
Papillion is French which means butterfly which Ziggy is: as nice as a butterfly. Ziggy is Mrs. Gellatly’s dog which she got from a breeder in the Twin Cities. He was four months old when she got him at the end of June. He is now eight months old and is basically full grown.
Ziggy and Mrs. Gellatly are going through a lot of training for him to even be here with us at PHS. They are in the puppy class at The Arrowhead Training Center for obedience social training.
In this training Ziggy has learned to identify his body parts. So if Mrs. Gellantly says, ears, she will touch his ears and Ziggy will be fine with it. Ziggy also knows eyes, teeth, feet and tail but after this he expects to get cheerios for his hard work.
Ziggy is going for his Canine Good Citizen Test where he will need to do ten tasks to pass. These ten tasks are following, accepting a friendly stranger, sitting politely for petting, appearance and grooming, out for a walk, walking through a crowd, sit and down command and staying in place, coming when called, reaction to another dog, reaction to distraction, and then the last task, supervised separation. Ziggy is almost done with these ten tasks. After they pass this test it is Mrs. Gellatly’s goal is to have him become a licensed therapy dog.
Ziggy is here for a very good reason. He is here for comfort, love and to turn a frown upside down. Another way Ziggy will be used is when students come in upset and need to talk to a counselor they may bring Ziggy in with them for comfort. Ziggy is also not just for students it is for teachers and staff to.
Staff have bad days too and they like to go in the guidance office and get there Ziggy fix. The process for him to be here took three school board meetings before he was approved. The board wanted to make sure that the idea for him being here would be safe. They also have an insurance policy so if he did happen to bite someone.
Mrs. Vos says that Ziggy is worth being here, is making students and staff happier, and she just truly loves him.