Tumby Bay Area School welcomes therapy dog 'Kurra'

TOUR: Mardi Masson guides Kurra around his new home at Tumby Bay Area School. Photo: Jarrad Delaney
TOUR: Mardi Masson guides Kurra around his new home at Tumby Bay Area School. Photo: Jarrad Delaney

Tumby Bay Area School has welcomed a new four-legged friend to assist students with their wellbeing.

The school was introduced to a two-year-old curly coated retriever named 'Kurra' on Thursday morning as he begins his duties as a therapy dog at the school.

Therapy dogs are trained to provide affection and support to people and are used in facilities including aged care and mental health facilities as well as schools and palliative care.

The school's wellbeing leader Amanda Partington said as a therapy dog Kurra would help students feel safe and supported, as well as help regulate their emotions.

"He will be in and out of classrooms as needed with one-on-one sessions with students that require his support," she said.

WELCOMED: Tumby Bay students Caleb Smith, Harper Franks, Raya Cook, Ayla Seaman (sitting) and Xavier McPharlin get acquainted with Kurra.

WELCOMED: Tumby Bay students Caleb Smith, Harper Franks, Raya Cook, Ayla Seaman (sitting) and Xavier McPharlin get acquainted with Kurra.

"We had been pursuing this for a couple years and had gone through Guide Dogs and other therapy dog organisations."

The school finally found a dog through trainer Ruth Bell of 'Remarkable Behaviour' in Macclesfield who was present for Kurra's first day at Tumby Bay.

Also assisting with getting Kurra used to his new role is year 11 student Mardi Masson who is helping the school with setting up the dog's duties and routine as part of her Community Studies project.

Mardi said it would take a little time for Kurra to get used to everything at the school but was sure he would soon be fully prepared.

"It's really good because I know when I was younger I would've loved something like this," she said.

Kurra will be trialled with the school until Easter as the school determines what would work best for the dog and the students.

Mrs Partington said the school was happy to be one of the only schools in the area to provide a therapy dog for its students.

"We're really proud we can have this at school and have that extra support for our students to improve their learning and wellbeing," she said.

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