This is his story:
The story began with now CDS alum, David R. ( ‘17) and Sofia A-T ( ‘17). The seed was planted when David and Sofia presented the benefits of a therapy dog to the US counselor, US Head, and Head of School. All were in agreement that this would be an asset for CDS students in the often demanding and challenging IB program.
As with many well-intentioned projects, the idea needed to percolate, and percolate it did, for about five years. Fast forward to September 2019: Jim Poulin, David’s former advisor and now MS/US Innovation Specialist, brought the idea up again, as an innovative way to mitigate the growing concern of student anxiety. Thus, a serious search began for the perfect candidate.
Enter, CashDog, a discarded shelter dog looking for his higher purpose. He was lucky enough to land at Elizabeth’s Animal Rescue and Sanctuary (EARS) in Odesa where another CDS alum had volunteered throughout high school. The stars aligned, and Cash found his forever home with Krista Diamond, the US Counselor, and began his training. Cash became a weekly visitor to CDS once a week beginning in January 2019. He spent the following summer volunteering at a nursing home with the therapy dogs of SW Florida and continues to train and work towards his goal of being the best therapy dog he can be, alleviating the pressures of IB and spreading joy and wellbeing to the students, faculty, and staff of CDS.
Students and teachers alike can’t help but smile when they see Cash on his “work days” at CDS. A true therapy dog, he brings unconditional love and a sense of calm to all those around him. The next time you are at CDS on a Monday, Wednesday, or Thursday during lunchtime you might even catch him taking a nap with Aunt Sandra in the business office. Therapy is hard work!