A school district in Litchfield, Arizona, has enlisted the help of a new furry friend to boost morale among its transportation staff.
Litchfield Elementary School District #79 recently adopted Floyd, a 7-month-old miniature Dachshund, in October. Tommy Sims, transportation director, said the idea for adopting a therapy dog came about after he had mentioned to his supervisor that he wanted to get his own personal dog but couldn’t because of his long work hours.
“We began talking, and I told [my supervisor] I think I want to get a dog … She said 'Awesome, let’s get one registered and trained as a therapy dog for your [transportation] department,'” he explained. “I did all of the paperwork and got Floyd licensed, picked him up in September, and then he started coming to the office in October.” (Note: Floyd is registered as Sims's therapy dog and not directly to the district.)
Floyd has completed several rounds of therapy dog training and will be starting a new round of training in February, according to Sims. Sims also said that he has been bringing Floyd into the office early every day so he can get adjusted to the office environment.
“We have had pretty great morale this school year, but adding Floyd to our crew took morale to a new level,” Sims said. “Floyd is typically out in the hallway every morning after routes and in the afternoon as the team leaves to take students home.”
In addition to adopting Floyd, Sims said that the district provides ongoing support and encouragement to the transportation team — from having students send thank you cards to staff to having parents surprise them with donuts and coffee.