Therapy Dog Visits Students and Faculty

The NESTT invites Groot to meet students


Haileigh Steffen

Trained therapy dog Groot greeted students during a morning visit to the NESTT.

Haileigh Steffen, Executive Editor

Guidance counselor Mary Peterson brought Groot the therapy dog to the NESTT (Navigating Emotions and Stress Through Training) for students to meet this past November. Peterson explained Groot will make surprise visits to the NESTT room in the mornings and to classrooms during this academic school year. Groot passed a therapy dog evaluation through Pet Partners, a national therapy animal registration foundation. According to Peterson, Groot’s role around the school is to make people feel better and contribute to positive energy. 

“Groot is a young dog and likes to explore. So he doesn’t like to stay in one place for very long,” Peterson said. “I’m getting him used to being in this big building with 1600 people. What he likes to do is wander around and I’ve had a couple of teachers and students say, ‘hey, the next time groups here can they come to my room?’ So I started going into some of those rooms.”

Groot is not the only therapy dog at City High. Orchestra director Megan Stucky’s Weimaraner dog, Davis, is a therapy animal also. Whereas Groot visits many classrooms, Davis stays relatively put in the orchestra during class times.  

“[Groot] is a goofball. He loves being the center of attention. But he’s also just like a weirdo. I think his name sums him up,” Peterson said.