Rescue Dog to Therapy Dog: Monique & Ginger's Story

Monique, Ben & Ginger (Miniature Pinscher/Dachshund Rescue/2), Saratoga Springs, NY

Ginger is a lovable rescue pup who is training to be a therapy dog. Monique and her family rescued Ginger from Mountain Rottie Rescue of New York 

meet monique ben and ginger

Monique is a Special Education teacher at The School at Northeast, which is a certified special education facility in Schenectady, NY. The school has a small student-to-staff ratio to focus on individualized attention and instruction. Ginger accompanies Monique to school once a week and she's great at helping to calm students, brings a smile to their faces, and she loves to sleep on their laps.  A lot of the kids face judgment every day, but Ginger doesn't judge.

Therapy dogs are known to help educators break through to their students, which enhances the learning community. Many educators with therapy dogs in their classrooms describe how their dogs are able to change the mood in the classroom. Not only do therapy dogs boost morale, but they typically provide cognitive, physiological, social and emotional support to many students.  Some days at school, students will request to come into Monique’s classroom during free period. Monique recalled a recent visit from a student who had struggled in the classroom that morning. When he came into the classroom later in the day, Ginger was sleeping on her bed while the student sat next to her gently petting her head. He knew that spending time with Ginger would help to calm him down. Monique has found that her students’ empathy skills have been sharpened just by having Ginger in the classroom. The students look out for Ginger, they are protective of her, and they make sure she’s happy, fed, and comfortable. Monique can see the impact that Ginger is having on her students’ lives.

But it’s not all work and no play for Ginger. At home, she's like a little sister to Monique’s three boys. They enjoy taking her for walks, playing tug of war with her squeaky bird toy, and bringing her to the dog park. Ginger takes advantage of every invitation to snuggle in bed and burrow under the covers, which brings a great sense of security for both the kids and Ginger. The whole family is incredibly grateful that Ginger came into their lives.  Her feistiness, energy, and playful personality often have everyone in fits of laughter, especially when she’s chasing her tail or trying to get the cats to play with her. Ginger keeps everyone active both at home and at school and helps reduce stress everywhere she goes.

Monique says that while she and her family “rescued” Ginger, Ginger has changed their lives in more ways than she can express.

Keep waggin Ginger, you’re making a difference! @she_is_monique

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