Ruben on the Road: Therapy dog helping students get through the school year

Published: Nov. 6, 2023 at 10:35 AM CST
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TEXLINE, Texas (KFDA) - Ruben makes his way to Texline where he meets a therapy dog helping students get through the school year.

Megan Pierson, counselor at Texline ISD, says she got Murphy in December 2022 and she’s about one year old.

“So what originally happened was I wanted to get a therapy dog for the kids because we’re kind of out here on our own in Texline, and so when you think about mental health, there’s not a lot of access, and there’s a lot of research that proves that therapy dogs help with anxiety and stress and depression,” said Pierson.

Pierson says she really wanted to get a dog for the kids, so she wrote a grant and was awarded it. She says Murphy came all the way from Miami, Florida.

Rhonda Cantrell, who works with dyslexia therapy at Texline ISD, says Murphy is fantastic.

“I have been amazed at how well she has integrated just into the school and with all the kids, and she just gives everybody a lot of peace I think,” said Cantrell.

Eighth grader Colt Wann says he feels like it helps the students when they can come and play with her and pet on her.

“It distracts us and keep, gets our mind off school and life and stuff,” said Wann. “It’s pretty cool because Texline is pretty unique in a lot of ways, and this just adds to it.”

Pierson says some days it’s a toss up on who loves her more — the teachers or the students. For one instance, a teacher gives Murphy an animal cracker everyday.

“And you know, our job can be really hard, but when you have the ability to step out of your classroom and go get some Murphy time, everybody feels a little bit better,” said Pierson.

Cantrell says just having Murphy here is so unique. She doesn’t know how many other schools get to do this, but Cantrell says they’re so blessed to have Murphy here.

“It just means so, so much and I would like to give a lot of credit to Ms. Pierson. Everything that she’s done as far as training her, and also to our administration, for allowing her to come and be here,” said Cantrell.