Friendly dog helps ease the stress for Northside students

Mya is a facility dog at Northside Middle School in Columbus. WRB photo

Northside Middle School students have a furry friend who is always happy to help them relieve their stress.

The Bartholomew Consolidated School Board was introduced to Mya at its meeting this week, a trained therapy dog brought into the school daily by school nurse Beth Ballard.

Mya has been trained in stress relief techniques including drawing kids attention with a friendly paw, or pressing her head against a child’s lap.

Sometimes the children just want a chance to talk to Mya, Ballard said.

Mya has been coming to school since 2017.

Mya has also helped ease children’s minds when they need to see the nurse for a medical problem, Ballard said.

Mya has been coming to school since 2017. The school sends out a parental permission form each year to ensure that students are allowed to accept the assistance from Mya. School principal Amy Dixon says that only a handful of families turn down permission and that is largely due to allergies.

Beth Ballard. Photo courtesy of BCSC