The International Changemaker

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The International Changemaker

The International Changemaker

EF Academy’s Therapy Dog, Guava

Guava, the EF Therapy Dog with students outside of the dorms.

Guava is a female Black lab and golden retriever mix therapy dog, who works here on the EF Academy campus. She belongs to Ms. Collat, who teaches psychology and works as a part-time therapist on campus. Guava was part of a large organization called “K9 Companions” which works training service and therapy dogs.

Guava is two years old, and Ms. Collat got her on September 29th after being waitlisted all summer and having a 2-week trial to see if Guava was the right fit. Even though during training Guava spent a year with a woman working in a high school, and would often spend time with the high schoolers, she wasn’t the best fit as a service dog for disability, but as a therapy dog, she was perfect.

Guava exercises 60 minutes a day and is friendly with all dogs and people. Her favorite place to play is the soccer field, where she loves catching tennis balls and running around. Along with therapy classes, Ms. Collat also offers the student the opportunity to go with her and take Guava out on a walk. When I asked Ms. Collat if she got Guava for personal reasons or for the sole purpose of bettering the school environment she said “Definitely both, for school, but also for personal reasons, now that I have more time.”

After Guava’s second adoption by Ms. Collat, she has found her final owner and home. She will spend a lot more time with the students of EF Academy, and Ms. Collat is set on her playing the role of a therapy dog on campus. Ms. Collat is also working on setting rules for students, to help Guava be better trained and stay calm. Some of the rules include not petting her until she sits down, preferably on all four feet, and not getting her overly excited. It is important for Guava to be able to remain calm.

Having a therapy dog on campus is truly amazing, and it offers so much more calmness and trust to the students undergoing therapy, maybe even making their problems seem easier to deal with. Guava is such a good dog, and she is always happy to be pet by anybody. Her favorite areas to be pet are her head, back, or belly scratches.


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About the Contributor
Hannah Lunkewitz is an eighteen-year-old senior, originally from Frankfurt, Germany. She has lived in Los Angeles for 8 years and has a passion for writing and journalism. She loves outdoor activities and enjoys talking to people about their lives.

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