Maggie Reese, ILHS Guidance Counselor Alice Weygandt and Kayleigh Taylor snuggle puppies. (Indian Lake Schools Photo)
The auxiliary gym was full of much needed smiles, squeals and snuggles during the recent “Paws”itive Puppy Day at Indian Lake High School.
Representatives from K-9 Army in Huntsville and the Champaign County Animal Welfare League brought in several trained adult dogs and puppies for students to enjoy. Indian Lake School’s two emotional support dogs, Roxie and Sadie, also joined in the fun.
ILHS senior Rylie Anderson and junior Evie Peterman organized the event to lift spirits after the recent loss of two Indian Lake students.
“We planned this because of everything that’s happened in the past month and a half. Losing our close classmates Nolan and Chloe, it’s been hard,” Rylie explained.“So we thought let’s have a mental health day, bring in our therapy animals and some puppies — because who doesn’t love puppies? — talk about your mental health if you want and have some fun.”
The ILHS student body was rocked in December when ILHS junior Nolan Purk lost his life in an automobile accident. Then, in late January, ILHS/Ohio Hi-Point junior Chloe Hodge was killed in yet another car accident.
ILHS Guidance Counselor Alice Weygandt said the “Paws”itive Puppy Day came in a time of need.
“Everyone’s been kind of numb, just not themselves. It was great to see kids filled with joy again for a while.”
Students could choose to take a few minutes to pass around the puppies or throw a tennis ball with the adult dogs. Other kids just sat on the ground to pet the animals while talking to each other. Even students who are not dog lovers had fun watching their friends or offering a quick pat to the older dogs.
K-9 Army owner and operator Robin Tominello said she hopes the event makes an impact.
“The dogs are here to make the kids smile and they certainly are!”
The Yorkie Poo puppies pictured are available for adoption through the Champaign County Animal Welfare League.