Cumberland Academy of Georgia Welcomes New Therapy Dog

Lacy clearly loves children. Her foster family quickly recognized her gift with children as unique and knew she needed a special place to thrive.

Even before the start of the 2017-18 school year, Lacy, the newest “staff member” at Cumberland Academy of Georgia, has been getting all kinds of attention. She’s been caught sleeping on the job, goofing off during school meetings, gnawing at her name tag, and taking extended bathroom breaks. Still, no one seems to mind.

Lacy has begun her training to become Cumberland’s new therapy dog. The Atlanta special needs school adopted the dog in June from You Lucky Dog Rescue—just in time for the start of the school’s summer camp program. Lacy is a 1½-year-old mixed-breed dog, part Labrador and part hound. Cumberland’s previous therapy dog, Haley, died in October 2016, and school officials are hoping Lacy will follow in her footsteps and become an integral part of the education at Cumberland.

“Lacy clearly loves children. Her foster family quickly recognized her gift with children as unique and knew she needed a special place to thrive. It’s a beautiful experience to see an animal thrive and in doing so helping our very special population of children.” said Debbi Scarborough, founding director at Cumberland Academy of Georgia. “Lacy has begun her training, and I am looking forward to introducing her to Cumberland students this fall.”

Lacey will come to school every day. In the morning, she’ll walk around the gym when the kids are interacting with each other pausing for a pet among students and staff. At lunchtime, the kids will take her outside, and she will also walk the halls throughout the day and provide positive reinforeement for a student who needs a quick break. “On a daily basis, Lacy will show the students how positive social behavior is rewarded by a wag of she tail,” explained Scarborough. “She also serves as a pick-me-up for kids to get a few licks and kisses throughout the day. Lacy’s talent with children will enable her to work the miracles and magic we saw with Haley. “

Lacy’s role at the school is an important one, and she will need time to be trained appropriately. In addition to spending time with summer campers, Lacy is also undergoing special…

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