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Faith Lutheran training adorable therapy dog to help students cope with tragedy

Posted at 6:00 AM, Mar 12, 2018

In the wake of school shootings and the tragedy of 1 October, a Las Vegas high school is trying to better the way kids cope with tragedy through therapy dogs.

Faith Lutheran Middle School and High School will soon have a full-time therapy dog walking its halls.

Esther, a three-month-old Goldendoodle, is currently in training, but hoping to go full time by next school year. It's the first time a school has trained a dog on campus in order to help support students.

Eighth Grader Katie has already experienced the difference Esther can make.

"When my blood sugar is high I feel angry and tired," Katie said. "She [Esther] was kind of soothing without me even realizing it was soothing."

The idea of Esther came after Faith Lutheran brought therapy dogs onto their campus days after the One October shooting. More than a dozen of students and staff were at the Route 91 Harvest Festival when shots rang out.

"She's named for Queen Esther in the Bible, specifically Esther 4:14 'Perhaps you were created for such a time like this'," said Mrs. Courtney Burns. 

Mrs. Burn is a counselor at Faith Lutheran and is currently Esther's handler. She have undergo a few more months of training before she can become a full-time therapy dog.

"I don't know that I can think of a decision that I've made in 25 years that has brought so much joy to people," said Dr. Steven Buuck.

CCSD currently has a therapy dog at one of its schools. Adding a therapy dog is at the discretion of the school.