By Arden Y
Usually when you find yourself walking down Main Street, there are no animals in sight. However, every other Friday you will see a certain golden retriever. Gus, the therapy dog, and his owner Ashley Stehn are often around during lunch block on those Fridays.
“Mrs. Stehn is amazing,” Principal Donovan said, “She faithfully comes in each week.”
Gus has been coming to Duxbury High School for a while now. It all started when he was requested to come in during “Stress Less Week” two years ago.
“I was very surprised by the reaction of so many students,” said Stehn, “[they] were very excited to interact with Gus.” The guidance office was contacted to reach out to Stehn, and she and Gus have been coming ever since.
Gus is a five-year-old golden retriever. Stehn and her family bought him when he was only eight weeks old. “He had a very calm disposition as a puppy, and still does today,” Stehn said. She said that Gus is almost always happy and calm.
“He is very gentle with other dogs and with people,” Stehn continued. Stehn knew that he would make a fantastic therapy dog by observing this behavior. Gus is a certified therapy dog.
Senior Tammy H. said, “I think goldens are pretty cute and calm and they make good therapy dogs.”
Tammy is one of the many students at DHS who loves Gus and looks forward to his visits.
“People adore Gus,” Tammy said “[Some people] have dogs and when they see him it makes them happy. I know it does for me.”
Tammy has a golden retriever herself.
Both students and staff flock to Gus when he appears at the school. “It was clear his presence at school made a big impact,” Stehn said, while Principal Donovan added, “everybody loves Gus.”
While not at the school, Gus can be found playing at his house.
“Although he loves to steal our shoes, he never chews them up,” Stehn said. “He usually carries around our shoes when we get home and he is excited to see us.” Gus also loves to swim. His favorite spot is Round Pond.
Stehn is really pleased that Gus leaves a positive impact on the students. “Gus thanks everyone for welcoming him to the high school!” she said.
Photo credit: Ashley Stehn