Groodle: a cross between a Golden Retriever and a Poodle.
At Bruce Rock District High School Rock, Lulu the Groodle is a popular member of the school community.
YouthCARE chaplain Sal Marais bought Lulu for the specific purpose to train her up as a Therapy Dog.
“I chose this breed, because they are bred for the purpose of not shedding, eliminating allergic reactions and for the kind and placid temperament of the Golden Retriever,” she said.
After a week of intensive training in Benalla (Victoria), she officially started working at the school in October. She has quickly endeared herself to staff and students alike.
“On her very first day a Year 2 student came to our office, quite upset about something that happened in their family,” Sal said.
“We were sitting on the carpet close to where Lulu was lying and as the little girl was sharing her story, Lulu crept closer and closer until she could put her head in the little girl’s lap.
“The girl was quite overwhelmed, very happy that the dog loves her and wanted to help her.”
Older students at the school, who may feel a little embarrassed to be seen with the chaplain, now has an excuse, because they come to take Lulu for a walk.
“While we’re on our walks, they can chat without feeling the tension of having to look at me while they share their stories,” Sal said.
“Students love to pat Lulu, because she is soft and fluffy. Even though she’s only seven months old, she absolutely loves all the attention and I am very excited to see how she will impact the lives of the students at the school.”