We would like to introduce you to MacArthur’s newest staff member, Gideon. Gideon is a 6 and a half year-old Schnoodle. His mother is a Giant Schnauzer and his father is a Standard Poodle. Both breeds are non-shedding and considered hypoallergenic. Dr. Buffo, our school psychologist, procured Gideon after researching the positive effects animals have on people, especially children. She learned that animals often inspire and motivate children in ways adults cannot.
Dr. Buffo considers herself very lucky to have found Gideon. She describes him as a very sweet and mellow puppy. She began Gideon’s training when he was just 6-months-old, teaching him basic commands necessary to be a good therapy dog.
When Gideon was 10 months old he started his training at Committed Canine, Inc., an organization outside of Effingham, Illinois, for further training. Committed Canine is a professional organization that trains service dogs. They agreed to train Gideon to be a highly trained therapy dog and to acclimate Gideon to the smells and sounds of the school environment. Gideon trained for 10 weeks and then Dr. Buffo trained for 5 days with Gideon going through several evaluations.
All students at MacArthur will have the opportunity to interact with Gideon as he works with Dr. Buffo. He will be a non-critical ear, will act as a reinforcement for positive behavior, will encourage children to try even when things appear difficult, and will always be available to those children who just need a paw in their hand or a chin on their lap. Most of all, he will be an awful lot of fun for our children to have around each day.
We are very excited to have Gideon as a positive member of our MacArthur staff, and we have no doubt he will help our students in their endeavor to always try their very best.
Sonia Esquivel and Debbie Ancona