“Dusty” joins the district as his companion “Ace” retires.
TIFFIN, Ohio — At Frost-Kalnow Stadium in Tiffin, there’s a retirement party, but it’s not for a coach or a teacher. It’s for Ace, the Tiffin City Schools veteran therapy dog. The dog served the district for nine years, helping children deal with stress or anxiety.
“He’s ready to be in the sun, to relax and on the couch. He’s served his time. He’s helped a lot of students and staff, and he’s ready to retire,” Jill Miller said. , district social worker.
The kids say Ace meant a lot to them.
“He’s a very special dog to me. He’s helped calm me down for certain parts of the year. I really like him as a therapy dog,” fifth grader Avery Conley said.
Ace’s retirement follows the loss of his partner Kennedy to cancer. The school raised $5,000 over two days in July 2021 for the surgery.
“Due to the timing, we weren’t able to get a successor dog right away,” said school counselor Trisha Eidt.
Eventually, the district and the students met Dusty, the new therapy dog. Dusty made his debut at Ace’s retirement party, and the kids are already loving him.
“I’m thrilled to have Dusty as our new therapy dog. I’m also sad that we had to buy a new one because Kennedy passed away and Ace is retiring,” fifth-grade student Asialee Ellis said.
“I’m really excited to have him in school.”
Eidt says the dogs have become an important part of the school.
“The community is so supportive. We have so many people here tonight. They have kids or grandkids, or they’re just community members who have helped us through the process and really appreciate the work of these therapy dogs,” Eidt said. .
Retired counselor Suzanne Reinhart helped bring therapy dogs to the school district and never would have guessed they would be such an important part of the community.
“I never dreamed in my wildest dreams when I embarked on this career that was to come, but we are ‘paws-itively’ blessed,” Reinhart said with a smile.
Ace will spend his retirement living with Miller. The school says it is thrilled for Dusty and all the children he will help over the next decade.