We are happy to introduce our new member of the school community – Mabel, who will be a visiting dog for the school.
Mabel will be coming in to school for short periods of time on a weekly basis. Her vet has confirmed that she is in good health, is fully vaccinated, has a lovely nature and is an ideal visiting dog for the school.
Studies have shown that the presence of companion animals can improve the well-being of children and lower anxiety levels, simply by making the environment happier and more enjoyable.
Other benefits include:
- Cognitive – companionship with a dog stimulates memory, problem-solving and game-playing
- Social – a dog provides a positive mutual topic for discussion, encourages responsibility, wellbeing and focused interaction with others
- Emotional – a school dog improves self-esteem, acceptance from others and lifts mood, often provoking laughter and fun. Dogs can also teach compassion and respect for other living things as well as relieving anxiety.
- Physical – interaction with a furry friend reduces blood pressure, and provides tactile stimulation
- Environmental – a dog in a school increases the sense of a family environment, with all of the above benefits continuing long after the school day is over.
Mabel will always be on a lead and any parent who does not wish their child to interact with the dog, is invited to contact the school.
A full risk assessment has been completed and is available for viewing on request.
Mabel’s Weekly Update (12/06/2020)
Mabel has been thoroughly enjoying herself in the windy weather. The leaves have been blowing about and she has been pouncing on them. You can see in the photo that she has taken up the challenge of seeing how many leaves she can fit in her mouth at one time!
All that running and jumping around has meant she has tired herself out and needed plenty of snoozes. One of my favourite sounds is the noise Mabel makes when she is snoring happily after a long walk.
She has spent time in the garden and the apples on the apple tree are starting to develop really well. The rain has helped although we are both hoping for some sunshine next week.
Until the next update take care and stay well.
Mabel’s Weekly Update (05/06/2020)
In a week of very changeable weather Mabel has made the most of both the sunny days and the days that have been a little more overcast.
She has really enjoyed getting outside and playing with her ball, as you know she loves to chase and play. We have been careful to stay indoors or in the shade when it has been very warm and sunny so that she stays cool, and she always has plenty of fresh water to drink.
Mabel has become very interested in a particular corner of the garden and it turns out there is a hedgehog there now. I have been asking Tina for her advice as she knows much more than I do about hedgehogs. Hopefully it will leave us a good review on Hedgehog Trip Advisor.
The gift of the more grey, overcast days is that less people fancy heading to the beach and so we get to walk down and enjoy the expanse of sky, sea and sand. Mabel of course looks for a feather to find and carry, and enjoys dipping her paws in the sea every now and again.
Until her next update, stay safe and well and keep following the guidance.
Mabel’s Weekly Update (22/05/2020)
It has been a busy week for Mabel. On Monday she came into school with me and made herself at home in the office. You can see her watching me while I work in one photo. On another you might notice that she is surveying the empty yard from the window sill. She did keep wanting to go outside and chase any leaves that moved.
She has continued to be very vocal on Zoom meetings, it’s a good job staff know her well! Mabel also managed to make a mini appearance on video during one call with Hayley and our educational psychologist. I think she likes to be involved in whatever it is I am doing.
When we are out and about on our walks we notice it is busier now. We are still making sure we keep the right physical distance. Mabel has very much adapted to this over the last few months so it is easy to do.
At home the young starlings have started coming into the garden and quite often we have sparrows, blackbirds and starlings all foraging for food and seeds. Mabel watches this with great interest. She still likes to chase the wood pigeon if it lands on the fence or the grass. Whenever I call her in from the garden she comes running in and sits down waiting for a treat.
We hope you are all doing well and that you keep following the advice.
Mabel’s Weekly Update (11/05/2020)
Mabel has been loving the good weather and pottering lots in the garden, nosing through the bluebells and making wishes on the dandelions. She is enjoying watching the drama in the garden unfold whenever the Magpie arrives on the scene, and the starlings and blackbirds in particular loudly sing out their alarm call.
In the week that started with Star Wars Monday (May The 4th Be With You) Mabel did her own impression of being a Jedi Master – as you can see from the photo with her hood up. “Do or do not. There is no try.” Wise words indeed from Yoda Mabel.
She has enjoyed some more walks and is getting very good at crossing the road again and again so we can keep the 2m social distancing while we are out. We are lucky enough to pass some stunning gardens on our walk and we enjoyed stopping for a moment to watch this bee buzzing in and around a gorgeous flower. Sometimes even just taking a very short moment to stay still and really notice something can help us feel better.
Until our next update keep washing your hands properly and often and stay safe and well.
Mabel’s Weekly Update (1/5/2020)
During this week of being at home, Mabel has taken up a new hobby. Pilates. Yes, that’s right. You know how much she likes to join in everything that I do. Yesterday she decided to join in one of the online Pilates sessions I have started having a go at. They combine muscle strength, core strength and flexibility. She hopped on my mat, stretched and rolled, and generally had great fun!
She is still enjoying her one walk a day and on one of her walks in the woodland she found a feather. High value treasure indeed, and you can see how pleased she was with herself. She proudly carried it all the way around our walk!
She was less impressed with my efforts of a dog spa afternoon when I attempted to give her a wash. I forgot about my plait hanging down and managed somehow to give that a wash in the same shampoo I was washing Mabel with – much to my surprise and her bewilderment!
On a weekly Zoom call with other staff from the McKee she managed to hop on the keyboard, press her nose up to the camera and generally make sure everyone knew she was there. It’s a good job they all know what a bundle of mischief she can be!
We both hope you are all staying safe and well and look forward to seeing you all again.
Mabel’s Weekly Updates (10/4/2020)
Welcome to Mabel’s update for week 3.
Mabel has enjoyed joining in on some of my work from home this week. She has been my four legged co-worker. She even joined in a Zoom video meeting I had with Hayley!
It’s not been all work for her and she has enjoyed her one walk a day, making the most of it and following the rules of staying away from people.
We are lucky enough to live within walking distance of the coastline and her favourite walk of the week was to the beach. The tide was quite far out, so no dipping her paws in the sea this time. She did get to clamber up on some rocks, as well as chase bits of sand!
We found a frog in the garden yesterday (a real one, not a chocolate one!) and the birds have been regular visitors. Mabel keeps chasing the large wood pigeons that land on the fence. We have also had lots of bumblebees buzzing and humming in the garden during the sunshine. Dumbledore is an old English word for bumblebee. Good choice JK Rowling!
She misses her Friday afternoon in school and will be pleased when she can see everyone again. In the meantime she is doing well and staying healthy.
Until Mabel’s next update, we want you to all stay safe and well, follow the rules that protect us all and keep washing your hands!
Mabel’s Weekly Updates (03/04/2020)
This is Mabel’s update from our second week.
She is still missing seeing you all and is looking forward to the time she can come back into school.
This week she has become more familiar with the new routine and she is doing well. She knows now that she has one walk a day and she enjoys this. She is having plenty of play time in the house and plenty of naps. Her snores are as loud as ever!
This week we were able to go into the woodland nearby on one of our walks outside. Mabel loves the woods and so with her tail wagging she set about finding feathers, leaves and twigs. The picture was taken when she had just found a feather.
The woodland changes with the season and the patch of wild garlic in one of the corners is just starting to grow which lets us know we are in Spring. As we go through April, the smell of wild garlic will get stronger. The birds are starting to get noisier and we noticed a couple with tiny twigs in their beak, off to make a nest.
Until her update next week, stay safe, keep learning and keep washing your hands!
Mabel’s Weekly Updates (27/03/2020)
Hello everyone, welcome to Mabel’s first weekly update.
She has missed coming in and seeing you all this week. As you know she is a friendly dog who likes making friends and being sociable, so the new rule of only going out for a walk once a day and staying a good distance from people is very strange for her!
However, she is also very adaptable. She is getting used to a new routine now and taking it all in her stride. She is still able to go out in our garden and play with her ball. As you can see from the photo she still is enjoying catching any leaves that move on the ground. All in all she is doing well and her tail is still very waggly!
Stay safe and well everyone and keep washing your hands.