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Georgetown therapy dog making 'pawsitive' impact in schools

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Posted at 7:37 PM, May 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-26 19:38:27-04

SCOTT COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — Amongst a sea of students and staff at Great Crossing High School, one, in particular, stands out.

This one though walks on four legs. Between COVID and even ongoing discussions about school safety, therapy dogs are vital staff members and that includes Georgetown.

"Ollie's doing great, he's the star," said School Resource Officer Ben Martin, who works for the Georgetown Police Department.

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The three-year-old star golden retriever belongs to Martin and his family. When you see Martin in the schools, you're sure to see four tan, little paws right next to him.

"If we didn't have the Warhawks as the mascot, we would have the retrievers and Ollie would be the live mascot," Martin said. "The first thing that they do when they get to school is they find me down this hallway right here - well not find me, they find Ollie."

"In the mornings, he's posted up on a bench in the Great Hall, students want to come in, give him his pat, maybe a rub for just a little bit," said Joy Lusby, who is the principal at Great Crossing.

Sydney Buck Pennington helped lead Ollie's training at the Dog Wizard in Frankfort. In just a few short months, she notices a change in Ollie's demeanor.

"I also see a dog that now has a switch," she said. "He can go into work mode."

She says Ollie can't be in that work mode 24 hours a day, but he knows when it is time to bring a contagious smile to everyone.

"Ollie has brought just this wonderful calm to students," said Lusby.

"Some bring him treats, and they just pet on him and say this is exactly what I needed today.," said Martin.