Salvy & Chris | Professional Therapy Dog Team
Chris is an alternative education teacher that has worked in the alternative school environment for over 12 years and has been in education for over 20 years . The need for alternative methods of instruction in education has exploded in the last few years. This upsurge has created an urgent need for additional resources both for the students and the teachers. The type of resources these educators use are different from a typical classroom. These students have highly specialized needs of the both academically and behaviorally. In these classrooms, instead of the student following the curriculum, the curriculum is modified to meet each students individual needs.
Salvy is one of those resources that bridges the gap to creating a safe learning environment. Salvy helps to bring his students into a mindset where they are ready to learn. When one of his students is having a chaotic day, he is right there to help through the challenging situation. Salvy is trained not only to seek out those who are stressed, but also to give them deep pressure therapy, sensory stimulation through petting and cuddling. Many of the students in the alternative school setting have trauma in their lives. Salvy is there for them as a calming force and anchor as they regain control of their emotions.
Outside of the schoool setting, Salvy still wants to work & help out. Chris has Salvy's full attention as soon as the school day is done. Chris struggles with several health struggles. He is a diabetic that maintains his health through medication, testing, exercising and a balanced diet. He also has been diagnosed with PTSD due to a previous car accident that left him with headaches and extreme anxiety from the trauma. Salvy engages Chris by getting into his face so that there is no ignoring him and that pulls Chris out of the depth of his stress. Sometimes it just takes a hard nudge or a few licks to get Chris back on track. Salvy is also a fabulous addition for the stress of driving. When traffic is ugly, Salvy is right there either licking Chris behind the ear or trying to push his head through the space between the seats or even squeeze thru the crack between Chris and his door.