Although Cami, a four and a half year old cream-colored English Lab, has served as a therapy dog since the beginning of the school year, she was officially welcomed as a member of the school this week. Families were invited to meet and welcome Cami during a taco dinner at the school Tuesday, October 22. Nearly 70 family members, Cami’s trainers from QC Can, and other therapy dogs who serve schools in our district joined in the fun. The staff at Smart Intermediate had been talking about the idea of bringing a therapy dog to the school for about five years. Students may have difficult situations outside the school day and the goal was to provide a calming influence for students. Therapy dogs are specially trained for their role and adapt easily to a variety of situations and personalities. Cami has a variable schedule among the classrooms at Smart. Students can also earn “eagle bucks” for good behavior. Among the rewards they can “purchase” with their “eagle bucks” is spending their lunch hour with Cami or taking her for a walk. Staff members raised most of the $3,000 needed to bring Cami to the school by hosting a trivia night for staff members, their families, and friends last spring. In the evenings when her work day is done, Cami goes home with the school principal, Miss Swanson, who participates in Cami’s required weekly training sessions.