A four-legged furry friend starts school at CPS

Cobar Public School teacher Edyn Maybury with her very cute Labradoodle, Alby. The pair have recently undergone Animal Assisted Therapy Human-Canine Clinical Team Training and will use their skills to help students and staff at the school. ▪ Contributed

Cobar Public School (CPS) has welcomed lots of new faces to the school this year, including one very cute therapy dog.

Alby, an almost two year old Labradoodle (half Labrador, half Poodle), has joined the CPS team after recently completing an intensive clinical training course with Therapy Dogs Australia.

Research has shown that therapy dogs in schools have many benefits for both students and staff.

As CPS did not previously have access to animal assisted therapy to support their students emotionally and academically, one of the school’s teachers, Edyn Maybury, volunteered to train her dog Alby.

Alby and Miss Maybury recently graduated as a certified Human-Canine Clinical Therapy Team.

Alby can provide companionship and emotional comfort to students, assist in practising socialisation, reduce sadness, stress, and loneliness, as well being used as a motivational tool for students.

Alby will be based in Miss Maybury’s Multi-Categorical class while she is teaching, and he will also be able to visit other classes when Miss Maybury is off class.

As Miss Maybury is the only certified handler at CPS, he’ll be with her at all times when he is at school.

Alby will be involved in school events and assist Miss Maybury on playground duty.

To begin with, Alby will be working alternately two days one week and three the next.

When he’s not working, Alby likes spending time at home hanging out with his younger sister Scout (who also has aspirations of joining the Therapy Dog Team when she’s old enough).

Alby also likes exercising at the Newy and socializing.

He’s regularly at Gumnuts Café on Saturday mornings waiting for pats and has requested Puppachinos be permanently added to their menu.

If you see Alby out and about, Miss Maybury welcomes you to come up and say ‘Hi’.