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Therapy Dog Helping Relieve Stress For Concord Middle School Students

BOSTON (CBS) – At Concord Middle School, everyone is talking about Sierra.

"I think she's lovely and one of the prettiest dogs I've ever seen," student Anna Ames said.

Sierra, the Bernese mountain dog, is not only cute and super popular, but is serving a real purpose thanks to Ames, a seventh grade student.

Sierra, the Bernese mountain therapy dog. (WBZ-TV)

Ames just moved here from New York, and when she told principal Justin Cameron about her love of pets, he had an idea.

"I happened to mention to her one of my goals was to bring a therapy dog here to the middle school and we looked at each other and clicked and said we are going to make this happen," Cameron said.

He had Ames make a presentation and pitch it to the school committee herself.

Students with a therapy dog at Concord Middle School. (WBZ-TV)

The reason, she argued, is that school is stressful.

"I do believe the students are feeling the weight of the world at a much younger age and we are very much focused on what we can do differently," said Cameron.

Their teamwork paid off. Now, Sierra and the Pets and People team, are here to stay.

"I know a lot of kids are happy I've gotten a lot of compliments," Ames said.

Concord students are taking advantage of a therapy dog at the middle school. (WBZ-TV)

But it's not just the students, Sierra is helping everyone have a better middle school experience.

"It is remarkable to see even seeing Sierra can relax our students but meant a lot of staff morale as well," Katie Grotenstein, a school adjustment counselor, said

Sierra is at one middle school one day a week. The other middle school has another dog one day a week. They hope to have the dogs full-time soon.

For more on the dogs check out, a nonprofit from Acton.

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