Lancer Spotlight 3/17/23: Therapy dogs visit Linganore High School to lighten the mood


Eddie Slavin

Linganore students giving love to Juno the yellow lab.

by Eddie Slavin, Reporter

Man’s best friend, the canine, is prevalent in the homes of many Americans, with more than 48 million households having at least one dog.

This includes Linganore social studies teacher Jamie Hendi, who coordinated for her Australian labradoodle therapy dog, Bentley, to be at Linganore High School on March 15.

Bentley was not the only therapy dog present. To students’ delight, he was joined by two other dogs: a yellow labrador named Juno owned by Joette Leonard, and the basset hound mix named Raymond owned by Jennifer Hoffmann.

Bentley started off the day in science teacher Patricia Beachy’s classroom for students taking a pre-vet class. Students learned how dogs become therapy dogs and about the non-profit organization, Wags for Hope, for which Hendi volunteers.

While many service dogs bring assistance to their disabled owners, Wags for Hope specializes in bringing joy to people.

Based in Frederick, Md, Wags for Hope visits a wide array of facilities such as hospitals, nursing homes and special education classes, the last of which Bentley has frequented.

During third block, Bentley, Juno and Raymond were stationed on Main Street outside the cafeteria for other Linganore students to visit. 

While Bentley and Raymond preferred to stick close to their owners, Juno had a great time socializing and laying on her back while receiving love from students and teachers.

For his part, Raymond entertained students and staff, performing occasional tricks for his visitors.

Not only did the dogs get along with the students and teachers, but they got along with each other, too. It appeared Juno enjoying her time with the other dogs as much as she enjoyed her time with students.

The dogs were not the only ones to enjoy the experience. 

Social studies teacher Aaron Burch said, “Dogs are the only living things that do no wrong … they love unconditionally.”

Despite human faults, dogs manage to bring out the best in us.

Linganore sophomore Kiera Lewin agreed. “The best part is being able to make the dogs happy, and be in their company, and [watch] everyone have fun with them,” said Lewin. 

Although three cute and loving service dogs cannot make every problem disappear, they can certainly help people feel better. 

“Just seeing them there improves a lot of moods … [The dogs] lift the stress of keeping up with Term 3,” said sophomore Ethan Burkheart.

After a long day of attention and excitement, Bentley joined Hendi to help teach her fourth block class, before going home to snuggle up to his family.