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Saint Augustine Students Earn a "Mutt-i-gree®"

On Friday, January 25th, 2013 the students and staff of Saint Augustine Catholic School in Hartford, Connecticut had a special visitor, Harrison the Mutt-i-gree®! The students of St. Augustine have been participating in the Mutt-i-grees® Curriculum as a part of their school’s Developmental Guidance program. Cynthia Niedbala, the school’s principal, has been looking forward to implementing the Curriculum at her school since she attended a Mutt-i-grees® Orientation and Training Conference in April 2012. Her daughter, Megan, was eager to bring Harrison to see the students so she could share her passion about animals with them. Megan told the students, who ranged in age from Kindergarten through 8th grade, how she always wanted to adopt a dog and discussed her volunteer experiences at the Meriden Humane Society, which solidified her call to rescue an animal in need. For the past two years, Harrison has been Megan’s companion, and now he’s helping her spread the message that families should adopt their four-legged friends. As a special treat, first, second, and third grade students took turns reading to Harrison to work on their fluency and improve as readers.

Teacher Melissa Seidl has been teaching the Mutt-i-grees® Curriculum lessons as a part of the school’s guidance program, and is looking forward to the 7th and 8th grade class project that will be their first foray into the Mutt-i-grees® Club Activities.

During the question-and-answer sessions, older students asked questions ranging from, “Does Harrison do any tricks?” to “Has Harrison ever been reunited with his littermates?” Megan explained that Harrison came to Connecticut from Kentucky, and his two sisters were adopted immediately. “I don’t know why dogs with black fur aren’t as popular,” Megan said. “Harrison is the best dog a person could ask for.” After each session with their special visitor, students eagerly asked when Harrison would visit the school again. He had attained superstar status by the time the children were dismissed for the day: “Hey Daddy, come meet Harrison!” was heard more than once as children passed Megan and Harrison in the hallway.