I ran Junior’s Happy Tail Story over a year ago but since it is one of our all time favorite stories, I love to share it with our new deaf dog owners so they can see even little kids can train a deaf puppy like Junior.
My dream some day is to be able to witness teachers all over our great country help spread awareness like Debbie Pack has with training Junior and exposing her students to have compassion. The story you are about to read is about a wonderful school who works with animals in the classroom to teach young children about responsibility, acceptance, and community service. The school started using Junior a deaf English Bulldog puppy to teach the kids about special needs in animals to bring awareness and reach their teaching goal that everyone and everything is special in their own way.
By having a special needs puppy working directly with the students daily, this is a great way to teach children about compassion, responsibility, empathy, and understanding. Junior’s Happy Tail is shared with Deaf Dogs Rock and our readers by school teacher Deborah Pack.
It gives me great pleasure to share this story with all of you.
According to my deaf dogs Bud, Nitro, and myself, Debbie and the kids in her classroom totally ROCK! ~ Christina Lee – Deaf Dogs Rock
Junior Earns His CGC and Helps Kids Learn About Special Needs and Community Service by Debbie Pack
In the school year of 2011 I noticed my students for that year were having issues with pin pointing out their friends differences.I tried to explain to them that we were all the same on the inside but words were not working and I needed a little help. Our school is Outreach Christian School in Avondale, MO.
I put out an e-mail to the Bulldog Club requesting a special needs animal and with much prayer it was answered by a lady in Texas.One of her Bulldogs had a litter of 5 Bulldog Puppies and in that litter 2 were born deaf. After telling her my desire to teach these children about Acceptance she was willing to let my class have the little male named Junior.
When all the arrangements were made I started working on some things that I thought the children should know before I picked our friend up. They learned basic sign language and some other techniques that I thought might prepare them for our Special Friend. I told them that our voices would not work and that we would have to communicate with Junior by using our hands, facial expressions and body language. When Junior arrived it was a day to remember, the children were so excited but I could tell that they were trying to see something different about him. They studied him as they held him in their arms and talked to him.
Junior laid there and the trust between him and the kids was evident. They began to see that Junior was the same as any other animal,he needed love, kindness, compassion and he needed their acceptance. They saw it was us that had to do the changing in order to be able to communicate with him. Junior came to us with ears that were closed to the sounds of the world but with the help of their hearts, his Heart would hear all that needed to be said. The kids worked with Junior each day.
Like our last school puppy Madeline, Junior went to puppy class and on to pass his Canine Good Citizen test. The kids took Junior out into the community to help those in need and do parades. When it was time for graduation it was a big moment for the kids and school.
Photos of Junior with his Kindergarten class mates in 2011
Junior was our very 1st student to ever graduate with a challenge and it was because of his classmates who were willing to look passed what is to what could be that this night was possible. ‘Proud” I think that does not cover the emotions those children were feeling.
Additional photos from Junior’s class last year and the St. Patty’s Day Parade.
Seeing how importance it was for the children to learn not only about love, compassion, kindness but Acceptance too, I brought Junior back in 2012 as our 1st returning Pet Scholar. He worked with the Pre-K Class not only in the class but outside the community as well. Junior and his class raised pet/people food for the Salvation Army to give to the people in need in our area. They also helped send money to the injured animals in Joplin to be treated for free through the Banfield Pet Hospital. With the pain and destruction Joplin went through we wanted to help our area be prepared so the kids began passing out info on Disaster Preparedness and while they are hard at work doing that Junior runs his Bulldog Kissing Booth (the money raised also goes to Joplin).
Photo: The kids with Junior raising money for FEMA and the American Red Cross by setting up a Bulldog kissing booth for $ 1.00. All proceeds went to help folks in Joplin, MO.
Junior crossed the stage that year accepting a B.A. Degree with HONORS through a program callled MY DOG HAS CLASS. This year Junior worked at a different school with Pre-schoolers. The 10 little 4 year olds worked with Junior to help him earn his Master’s Degree. OnMay 15th he went across the stage and got his Degree with Honors.The picture below is him in His B.A.
These special animals are Gifts that come into our lives to teach us what God wants us to know. Junior helped me teach valuable life lessons that these children need to know.I am so Blessed to have Junior as my helper and now Annika is following in his steps. I would like to help you in anyway I can to show others what these little ones can do. Please let me know.