Who Let the Dogs Out?

Dizzy has the sweetest disposition and just loved calming our test-takers.
Dizzy has the sweetest disposition and just loved calming our test-takers.
Hopefully our furry friends will be back for the AP Exams this Spring.
Hopefully our furry friends will be back for the AP Exams this Spring.
Volunteer Donna Austin, owner of Dizzy, speak with a Whitman student who doesn’t want to say goodbye.
Volunteer Donna Austin, owner of Dizzy, speak with a Whitman student who doesn’t want to say goodbye.
Barbie, a poodle mix owned by Bideawee volunteer Terry Gallogly loves all the attention.
Barbie, a poodle mix owned by Bideawee volunteer Terry Gallogly loves all the attention.

Walt Whitman Assistant Principal Colleen Grady tells us that earlier in the week Juniors waiting to take the 11th Grade Common Core Regents were met with the furry smiles of Dizzy, Barbie, Remy, Alma & Nephritete, all Therapy Dogs from the Bideawee pet welfare organization.

As part of a continued effort to reduce stress and create a welcoming environment, Walt Whitman High School enlisted the help of these canine therapists who have known stress in their younger years. Dizzy and Nefrititi are both rescued greyhounds bred to race and live in racetrack kennels. Both are now retired and live in their forever homes with their loving owners who are Bideawee volunteers. Barbie, a poodle mix, owned by volunteer Terry Gallogly, was rescued along with her brother Ken after living in a small cage for 3 months. The owner was no longer able to care for them because of the loss of his home in Hurricane Sandy.

Smiles abounded as students walked into the North Gym waiting area and were greeted by waging tails. Students laughed, petted backs, watched tricks, asked questions, and rubbed furry bellies. One student asked if the dogs could return for AP Exams and said that he would not mind taking his five AP exams if he could meet the dogs again.

Thank you to Alicia Ryan, Senior Manager of Volunteer Programs at Bideawee and the volunteer handlers: Tom Tulipan, owner of Nefrititi; John and Miriam Melnick - owners of Remy & Alma; Donna Austin, owner of Dizzy; and Terry Gallogly, owner of Barbie.