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The Lobby Observer

The Student News Site of Westborough High School

The Lobby Observer

The Student News Site of Westborough High School

The Lobby Observer

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Mill Pond’s Furry Friend: Jonesy

Mill+Ponds+Furry+Friend%3A+Jonesy

Who doesn’t love dogs? The staff and students at Mill Pond are very fond of dogs, as they have welcomed a few furry friends into their school. Yellow lab, Jonesy, began his work at Mill Pond in November of 2021. He is almost four years old and is trained to provide assistance to all of the Mill Pond students. Jonesy is a NEADS Assistant Dog for the Classroom. Jonesy will officially be turning four on October 11th!

Jonesy comes from NEADS World Class Service Dogs where he was trained at the same level as a service dog. However, Jonesy is not considered a service dog as he provides help to all of the students, not any specific individual. “Unlike therapy dogs, which are typically household pets who work as a team with their owners to comfort others while visiting places like senior centers, schools, libraries, NEADS assistance dogs are highly trained and receive extensive socialization in many environments.” Kate Milotte, Telegram & Gazette: Assistance Dog J.D. brightens every day at this Central Mass. High School. Prior to Jonesy joining Mill Pond assistance dogs, Gryff and Coleman, visited the school. Their positive impact on the students and school environment allowed the school to welcome Jonesy into the community. 

School counselor, Christine Brouillard, has been at Mill Pond for 16 years. She is one of the staff members who has seen how Jonesy has benefited the school environment. Brouillard explained that there is a lot of research around the work that assistance dogs do, “There are positive impacts that can be seen and felt in all areas of a person’s life; physical, emotional, cognitive, social and behavioral health can be supported and enhanced by interacting with dogs.” Brouillard and other staff members have seen the positive impacts of having a NEADS dog accessible to students during the school day. Jonesy has helped students educationally and emotionally, “…increasing reading fluency and confidence when students read to Jonesy without fear of judgment or making mistakes… being a comforting presence during challenging times.” 

Staff member, Melissa Meehan, is a fourth-grade teacher at Mill Pond. Meehan has great appreciation for Jonesy and the work that he does. She has seen the impact Jonesy has on students within her own classroom. “Jonesy is an excellent listener. He can even bring kids tissues when they are sad, he can usually cheer them up by doing this!” Meehan loves seeing how excited her students are to see Jonesy. She explained that he can make anyone smile immediately. “My students always get super excited to see Jonesy in the hall or at recess.” Seeing Jonesy is the highlight of everyone’s day. Meehan believes that Jonesy has an incredibly positive impact on the Mill Pond community, “Mill Pond is a better place because of Jonesy!” 

Jonesy has definitely made a positive and significant impact on the Mill Pond School community. Staff and students are excited to see him every day as Brouillard explained that he greets staff and students every morning, “He has the ability to immediately elevate the mood of the people around him.” Jonesy ensures that everyone entering the building begins the day with a smile on their face. 

For more information about Jonesy and NEADS see below: 

https://neads.org/telegram-gazette-assistance-dog-j-d-brightens-every-day-at-this-central-mass-high-school/ 

https://neads.org/creating-smiles-christine-and-assistance-dog-jonesy/

https://neads.org/jonesy-making-each-day-better/

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About the Contributor
Kira Meehan '24
Kira Meehan '24, Social Media Coordinator
Kira Meehan 24’, a Social Media Coordinator, has been writing for the Lobby Observer for the past three years. Kira enjoys writing about school and club events. She also enjoys participating in broadcasts. Kira is a dancer and participates in competitions outside of school as well as teaching dance to young kids and those with disabilities. She enjoys walking her dog and spending time with family and friends in her free time.

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