Last year Truro School welcomed two new furry part-time members of staff and since then Bumble and Maverick have become well-loved members of the Truro School community.
Bumble’s home is with Lizzie Flowers (Learning Support) and Maverick lives with Vicky and Mike Cucknell, they gave us an update on their progress and how they have been coping during lockdown:
“Bumble is all grown up now. He misses everyone at school, and social distancing has been hard for him as he expects everyone he sees to want to stroke him. He loves children and misses the school children a great deal.”
“Bumble loves to fall asleep being stroked. His latest trick is when we say “knee” he comes up, puts his chin on your knee, and looks at you with puppy dog eyes. During lockdown we had a ‘Snap and Chat’ group, where we shared pictures and stories about pets. At school last year we had a ‘Walk and Talk With Bumble’ at lunchtimes, where students could take him around the grounds and practise his tricks.
“He is great at home – he acts like a hoover and eats anything we drop. He was brilliant during lockdown and kept us all sane. Luckily, he was old enough to go on long walks with us every day and has become an excellent swimmer too. Bumble has tried dog agility and is ready to take the exam for his silver award in obedience.
“The best bit about Bumble is his ‘waggyness’. He wags his whole body when I arrive home, and it’s adorable.”
Maverick has also had a great summer and has been enjoying many adventures.
Mike is the Outdoor Pursuits Coordinator at Truro School so naturally Maverick enjoys the outdoor life; camping, paddle-boarding, sailing and coastal path exploring. He is a true adventure dog and often hops into the campervan before Vicky and Mike have had chance to pack, excited for the next journey. Vicky told us a little more about Maverick:
“We are so delighted to look after Maverick and be able to enjoy the privilege of sharing him with our school and home communities. He just loves people and adventures, especially the D of E and Ten Tors training weekends. He loves all the attention from the children and of course all the cuddles.
“Maverick has been such a huge asset to our family, and we are so delighted to have made the decision to get a dog. My nieces commented this summer, ‘if Maverick was a human and had a profession…he would be in a caring role.’
“Maverick just loves children, people, cuddles and ball throwing. He loves his home and likes nothing better than to get back after a trip and relax in the garden, bathing in the sunshine or playing with his toys.
“Unconditional love, devotion and loyalty is always there. He is part of our family and we love him to bits.”
The aim of having the dogs is for them to be able to assist children who have special education needs, suffer bereavement or who are upset and find themselves in need of a little calm, comfort and space before being able to tell an adult what has upset them. They might even listen to children read which can help to improve confidence.
The children are able to pat and play under strict supervision at certain times of the day. They are also taught how to behave when with them and how to be safe around dogs in general.