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September 10, 2014 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Better than an AK-47

Foot down. Hands in pockets.

Explosive anger has forever changed the way parents look at schools. Robbed childhood when there was so little left.

The “Birds and the Bees” talk used to be parents’ most difficult conversation. Now it’s more likely to shaky talks with Pre-K kids to teens about school invasions and violence.

A comfort knowing you are near. (K9s4cops.org/kids/)

A comfort just knowing you are near. (K9s4cops.org/kids/)

Kristi Schiller stopped wringing hands and decided to do something.

Her non-profit, K9s4COPS, was already providing law enforcement agencies the canines they desperately needed.

Then she realized trained well socialized dogs in schools could be part of a solution. K9s4KIDS  was created.

Watch the video and tell me a trained dog wouldn’t help. (Flying dogs! Bitie face! Waggle tails!)

(Oh, click the darn link. The German Shepherd spokesdog, Johnny Cash, is worth it.)

https://uk.news.yahoo.com/video/texas-non-profit-helps-buy-195934711.html

K9s4Cops spokesdog Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash hopes people get it figured out soon.(K9s4Cops.org/Fox News)

Of course there are those instantly raising their hands, “My child is allergic to dogs!” And that must be recognized and addressed. (Speaking as one who had a dog allergic asthmatic brother). One possibility could be a dog free school option for those who need it.

In any case, dogs in schools have great potential for more than just security: as reading buddies, teaching kindness to help foster anti-bullying, and creating a calm atmosphere where kids feel secure so they can learn.

Schiller’s solution may not be perfect, but at least she’s doing something productive besides yelling back and forth about guns.

Remember the little red school house image? Little House on the Prairie scenes? Happy laughing children?

Can’t turn back the clock to more simple time, but a simple solution could reduce some of their modern-day fears.

1975 publicity promo for Little House on the prairie. NBC TV/US PD: pub.date, no copy right notice/Commons.wikimedia.org)

“Please. He won’t cause any trouble. It’s just so much happier when he’s around” (Little House on the Prairie,1975.NBC/US PD: pub.date/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Guardian dogs: not just for sheep any more.

Just consider. Talk to school administration and district security. Send some links. Discuss.

Hands down. Hearts up.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Read more? 

K9s4KIDS.org/ K9s4COPS.org Facebook here.

Paws for peace

Paws for peace. I, The German, approve this message.

Someone who smiles and puts her hands in pockets – for more than just treats?

  • Minnesota waitress wins lottery. Still working. Still volunteering as a regional German Shepherd trainer who raises and trains police dogs. She plans to buy a new truck for her dogs, donate a K-9 in her dad’s name to local police department, and pledged money to a local Police K-9 Foundation.
  • Video and story here:
Minnesota dog training Waitress wins lottery.(screenshot/gma.yahoo.com)

With a little time from friends. (Rhonda and German Shepherds. screen grab – gma.yahoo.com)

“Children trained to extend justice, kindness, and mercy to animals become more just, kind and considerate in their relations with each other. Character training along these lines will result in men and women of broader sympathies, more humane, more law-abiding-in every respect, more valuable citizens.”  (National PTA Congress)

Defuse anger. Derail violence before children see it as a solution for life’s problems.

  • Animals: Teachers of compassion and tolerance. (Southern Poverty Law Center.)
  • Cesar Millan’s Foundation: Mutt-i-grees Program combats Bullying (Junior’s in that video, too)
  • Paws for Reading. CA testimonials. Paws for Healing promotes stress-free environments in after-school programs and libraries. Many groups around the country provide animals as reading coaches and simple calm encouragement for students.
  • Teaching kindness and empathy, anti-bullying, consequences for actions – toss in some state standards connections. HoustonSPCA programs available.
  • Paws against bullying. (TV/article). Dogs are great for all: soothing nerves of university students to beginning readers. Anti Bullying programs. Of course the kids always assume the bigger dog is the bully….Video on Angel Paws
Dog in front of school lockers (K9s4Cops:Facebook.com)

Yep, best take a look in there. Always better to be proactive than reactive. (K9s4Cops:Facebook.com)

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46 Comments

  1. Madison Woods / Sep 10 2014 1:17 pm

    I think this a great idea and I hope it takes hold. Great article! Thanks for sharing it 🙂

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 10 2014 10:42 pm

      Sometimes a simple method provides many benefits. Paws crossed this idea does get some traction. Thanks for barking along

      Like

  2. easyweimaraner / Sep 10 2014 1:59 pm

    I wish we had dogs in our school, to join this project I would like to be a child again :o)

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 10 2014 10:45 pm

      So many grown-ups enjoy taking dogs to work, why shouldn’t kids have one around? A good shoulder shove or signature butt swing like the German does might keep kids out of trouble, too. Thanks for sitting and staying, Easy!

      Like

  3. jubilare / Sep 10 2014 2:02 pm

    Maybe they should look into hypoallergenic breeds, too. I know some people are sensitive even to those breeds, but the numbers are probably far less. 🙂

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 10 2014 10:49 pm

      That’s a great idea. Standard poodles used to be popular because of their coats, and they are pretty smart….but they may demand nail polish once in a while.
      My brother was pretty much OK as long as he didn’t hug the dog or get his face too close and remembered to wash his hands after petting. Now most kids take allergy shots. School districts can make this work if they try. Certainly worth a try. Thanks for pawsing with a comment

      Like

      • jubilare / Sep 11 2014 1:12 pm

        Poor poodles. It must be a bit embarrassing to go from well-honed hunting dogs to somebody’s dress-up-dog.
        But then I guess that is better than going from “Nanny-dog” to “public enemy #1” like the poor pit-bull breeds. Humans are ridiculous creatures.

        Like

        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 11 2014 1:32 pm

          I know. We are fortunate dogs are so patient with us…perhaps they would see training young humans a higher calling (than chasing squirrels and such) Thanks for the big bark

          Liked by 1 person

  4. shoreacres / Sep 10 2014 2:23 pm

    What a great idea. And so obvious. Of course, the really good ideas always seem obvious after someone else comes up with them!

    And while we’re doing that for the kids, let’s think about what we can do to lower the anger, nastiness, name-calling and general stupidity among adults on the interwebz. That might help the kids, too.

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 10 2014 10:55 pm

      Research has shown dogs/pets lower blood pressure and anxiety. They started having “comfort” dogs in airports for travelers last Christmas, remember? (Maybe instead of a chicken in every pot, it should be a pet in every home? Pet owners generally get more exercise, too.)
      You’re right about people in general are too angry – thought we were going to see a serious road rage incident yesterday on Marina Bay…guy in a truck so angry and focused on confronting/running over 2 motorcycle riders who were calmly trying to get away from him. We called the police – it was that scary. We lost sight of them – hope they all got home safe. What is wrong with people. Mandatory dog walks and dog petting sessions? (we shall not insult Miss Dixie’s relatives as they wisely choose their own entertainment) Thanks for fetching a comment to leave here.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ally Bean / Sep 10 2014 3:21 pm

    This is a good idea. I’m sure that there are ways to work around those kids + teachers who are allergic to the dogs. And think of how fun it’d be to go to school and spend your day wondering if today would be the day that you’d get to see/pet/walk/feed/cuddle with your school’s security dog. 🙂

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 10 2014 10:58 pm

      I’d feel more comfortable with Homeland Security funding trained dogs and handlers than ammunition and SWAT equipment. Bet many incident would be stopped before they became incidents. Most big dogs are very protective of children…so they herd them a bit…some of them need a shove in the right direction. Paws up! Thanks for trotting over to chat

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Paul / Sep 10 2014 3:31 pm

    Excellent post and a new partial or potential solution to killings. Well done. I am curious though, how would the dog identify the attacker? She would see many new people on a regular basis. Would it be the smell of ammunition of would it attack on order or…?

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 10 2014 11:08 pm

      The school guardian dogs are not the basic attack dogs. These are partnered with a handler and rarely off lease unless in pursuit, given commands, and even then usually the command is usually to grab and hold. Dogs are used in schools to detect drugs and weapons already here on campuses. (Dogs are specially trained to “hit” on a specific smell they have been trained to locate – it’s really a fascinating process. Military service dogs are trained for bombs and stuff the same way.)
      The retired German insists on inspecting any box that is brought into the house. She moves in and systematically examines it…will calmly shoulder you out of the way if you try to stop her. And once done she sits back with a big smile. Dogs love their jobs.
      It’s a good idea. Hope the school decision makers give it some serious thought. Thanks for leashing a comment and tying it up here

      Like

      • Paul / Sep 11 2014 5:18 am

        What scent has the German been trained to sniff out?

        Like

        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 11 2014 1:03 pm

          We aren’t privileged to all her secrets. When asked, she just looks calmly away and mumbles something about “Need to Know”…at least we think it was that and not “If I tell you …”
          But we are safe from attacking boxes.Big chortling snort and woofs!

          Like

  7. Jay E. / Sep 10 2014 5:57 pm

    My first job – one that I worked for six years – was at an animal shelter. I’m convinced that service animals – dogs, cats, what have you – would do a world of good in many situations. My cat is my best reading buddy, ever!

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 10 2014 11:12 pm

      Once people realize animals can function well in public and there is benefit having them around, it’s a win win situation. Why is there only one day for “Take your Dog to Work”? Pets certainly would lighten the mood – and that’s always a good thing. Thanks for leaving the purrfect observations

      Like

  8. katecrimmins / Sep 10 2014 6:15 pm

    I would have loved an animal in school and back then nobody shot anybody at least not at schools.

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 10 2014 11:15 pm

      Nothing like a big dog looking at you saying “Do you really want to do that?” And what’s better than a soft sympathetic paw when there’s tears or an ouchie? SImple idea that might pay off big time. Hope someone picks up the trail for these tails. Thanks for giving a yelp

      Like

  9. robstroud / Sep 10 2014 7:09 pm

    This is fascinating. And, coincidentally, they just arrested an 18 year old former student from the high school my wife teaches for a planned attack. He had told some people he intended to do it on September 11th. Had the guns and ammo too. He’s in jail now, thanks to a couple of his acquaintances who had the courage to warn the school and police.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 10 2014 11:38 pm

      This is always hard to hear. They are getting better at intercepting plots – and the students are helping. We’ve had a couple here. These situations are complex and answers not easy. Where/how/why did this one step away from being human and become one who thinks it’s OK to kill innocent people for no reason? Hope he finds an answer and understands – and society is protected from him until he does.
      Also interesting is that the state here has a program where prisoners raise/train puppies that become service dogs. Many prisoners apply to participate, but few are accepted. The dogs stay with them constantly and they are responsible for their care. One man who committed horrendous crimes said recently that the dogs saved him – that he was shown his actions affected the pup, the dog was dependent on him,and the dog loved him without asking for anything. He said he would be in prison all his life – and he deserved that, he said, but now he’s hoping by raising the dogs he can give back to society and maybe undo some of the damage he did. Dogs can quietly change people sometimes. Once a person shifts, then maybe other answers can be seen. Paw crossed for that kid. Tail wags for those who told.
      Thanks for running with the pack

      Liked by 1 person

  10. angelswhisper2011 / Sep 10 2014 7:18 pm

    Guardian dogs are great helpers and good furriends. The idea is just purrfect…I think I’m ready for school again 🙂 Pawkisses 🙂

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 10 2014 11:43 pm

      And every library needs a cat! They know the best places to sit and enjoy a story. Thanks for the purrfect comment. Paw waves from RC!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. kristi schiller / Sep 11 2014 1:05 am

    Thank you all for your support …. there are ways to get around the allergy issues. I told a reporter once when asked about the dog allergies : “Is your child allergic to shrapnel?”

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 11 2014 1:20 pm

      Greatly honored you stopped by. People need to stop wringing hands. Dogs work – on the streets, with troubled kids and adults, and in airports. Police know people react differently when dogs and horses are present. (And they are safer with dog partners) A simple step that may have huge impact as far as protecting schools. I’d rather see Homeland Security funding trained dogs and handlers than handing out SWAT equipment. The dogs have sense.
      As far as allergies, schools need HEPA/good filters and air flow/return to prevent mold and “sick building syndrome” with toxic chemicals build up. My brother has asthma bad – like turn blue and fall on the floor bad – but as long as he didn’t hug our dog (which was a mutt not a breed known to be better for allergic people or bathed frequently), kept his face back, and washed his hands after petting, he was OK. That was before allergy shots, inhalers, and other things now available. (He and my mother had bad food allergies, too.)
      At some point, people have to consider the safety/welfare of the majority.I also think today’s school buildings look more prison like than inspirational…perhaps a dog in the halls could soften that a bit and make the youngest feel safer and more comfortable….They now put service dog “petting stations” in airports to reduce stress – why not with kids?
      I’m a supporter of your efforts – don’t have money to give, but can write. Please let me know if I can help.
      Guardian dogs in schools is an idea that needs to be heard and implemented. Paws up for K9s4KIDs!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kristi Schiller / Sep 12 2014 4:12 pm

        (K9s4COPS.org comment follows)

        Like

        • Kristi Schiller / Sep 12 2014 4:14 pm

          Thank you for addressing it …. “A fool with a plan can outsmart a genius with no plan any day” Until there is an alternative to loaded weapons in the WRONG hands on campuses this is just one idea. Think of how many soldiers are trained in K9’s coming back from overseas that need jobs. As far as I am concerned its a good fit – for what I can see. I have placed 6 schools in less than 6 months …. I welcome all of your feedback.

          Liked by 1 person

        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 12 2014 7:24 pm

          You’ve offered the perfect solution: trained K9s and trained returning soldiers who have arms. (Sad but weapons on someone on campus is a necessity in many areas. I’d rather have a former soldier/handler armed than teacher/someone who didn’t grow up in the hunting tradition and has only had a required hours in the gun safety classroom and a few hours on the firing range.)
          But meanwhile, those who dislike the idea of defensive weapons in schools should support the idea of trained K9s.
          Somehow this message has to get to school decision makers and to those who can financially afford to fund a dog for schools.(Maybe some sort of petition or “bucket challenge”…still working on this)
          Great applause for stepping up and doing when so many just wring hands. Dogs can be big part of the answer.

          Like

  12. dogear6 / Sep 11 2014 2:54 am

    I totally agree with you! If we had more dogs in the schools, I think there would be a lot less problems.

    Nancy

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 11 2014 1:30 pm

      Paws up! Simple ideas sometimes have the biggest impact.
      (Buffett, Gates, Clintons – and those who easily have the means…like some high priced athletes and celebrities: Yoohooo – You always talk and talk…help the lady help the kids)
      Thanks for joining the howl.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. aFrankAngle / Sep 11 2014 1:07 pm

    An outstanding message …. and the endorsement of this message did create a chuckle. Cheers to all those helpful service dogs!!!!

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 11 2014 1:34 pm

      You know how the barking dog gets the attention? Can only hope the pack’s message gets loud enough to be heard – and acted upon. Thanks for pawsing to bark along. (Hope the golf and dancing are going well!)

      Like

  14. roughseasinthemed / Sep 12 2014 7:51 am

    Yes! Snowy wants to join! (Pippa thinks it would be too much effort). Surprisingly I think it’s a great idea. Bringing kids up to be comfortable around animals and to learn to respect them has to be good. Less cynaphobia hopefully would be a good side benefit.

    They used to take animals into care/nursing homes ages ago as therapy dogs so why not schools. Didn’t know they were at airports now.

    Stupid wordpress is unfollowing people for me, so I am having to make the manual rounds of people who have been uncommonly quiet…

    Anyway, snowy is polishing his CV even as I write. I haven’t told him about green cards yet, he’s so enthusiastic.

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 12 2014 10:27 pm

      Actually with Snowy’s coat, inherited traits, and personality, he’d be perfect. (He and the ADHD kids could also run around the track to burn off energy?). RC said not to worry about a green card – she’ll send a royal purple invitation and will request a special work visa. She says she has ways….(I don’t think I want to know)
      So far K9s4KIDS has placed 6 dogs in schools in less than 6 months. Good start. I really like the idea for many reasons.
      Several airports brought dog petting stations in during holiday season last year…along with jugglers, magicians, and various musicians – in an effort to distract people from all the waiting times. Rice University brings dogs in during “dead week”/study week before and during finals. That was a big hit.
      I worked with a therapy dog group here for a bit when between the German and Molly. Their dogs do hospitals, drug treatment centers, schools, assisted living homes and such. It’s quite a deal to get a dog ready: brush teeth, bath, nails done (then the dogs all mill around outside on the lawn of the place for a few minutes before going in…so they are still clean after that?). Between rooms/guests they are wiped down with baby/anti-bacteria wipes (Staph infections prevention attempts among others). All that cleaning is pretty hard on a dog’s skin? And the dogs are given “breaks” so they don’t get petting overload. The older folks appreciate the animals most, I think. Many had to give up pets. That’s pretty sad.
      Molly’s still pretty wild and has her own issue to work out right now. She loves people, but the unwary will see her sit/lay down in wolf-style to lure them closer – then as the person bends over with “Pretty doggie” she’ll leap up and lick them in the face while bonking their forehead….and maybe a whack with a friendly (heavy) paw….we’re working on it, but probably not the quiet soothing type of pup…Perhaps Snowy can demonstrate suitable manners – or so RC has mentioned….we have not relayed the ankle incident.
      Paw waves ( and happy day after the holiday…I must run over to your blog. DARN – WordPress is unsubscribing again…now I’d better go check, too – I know some are on pause for various reasons, but there have been some missing…thanks for the heads-up)

      Like

  15. heretherebespiders / Sep 12 2014 7:21 pm

    Be a good anti-bullying measure too! My childhood would have been a lot different if I’d had a big dog by my side!

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 12 2014 7:33 pm

      Big dogs have a connection with children and are naturally protective. THey sort things out before things get out of paw. With our Bouviers we’d watch them notice kids’ voices escalating and one would saunter over and shoulder in between kids breaking things up and offering a paw or a ball to throw. They don’t like their “charges” to be in conflict, shrill, or unhappy.
      We saw our big male notice a new neighbor who came home early (he traveled a lot and wasn’t around much) and was walking over to see the crowd of neighbor kids – his in the group. The dog got in between and laid down. Every time the man moved, the dog blocked him and laid down between the kids and him. Finally we stopped laughing and went over and assured the dog ( who greeted and inspected the “newcomer”) the guy was part of the “approved” group.
      Dogs think and analyze more than people want to admit. Dogs in schools is a perfect idea.
      Thanks for giving a howl

      Like

  16. jannatwrites / Sep 13 2014 5:27 am

    That would be cool to have dogs in schools. Maybe my kids would be more interested in it (they always say they’re bored.)

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 14 2014 9:06 pm

      Why do adults get to take dogs to work and kids don’t? It would be very cool. (Having breaks to go run for a few minutes outside would also be a good idea…and windows. Kids need windows….once again adults don’t want offices without windows…schools really need to rethink what they are doing.) Hope the weekend weather cooperated and everyone had a great time. Thanks for hopping the fence and digging up a comment

      Like

  17. EllaDee / Sep 16 2014 2:47 am

    I love love love the idea of dogs in schools, workplaces, airports, hospitals… they didn’t get the reputation of man’s best friend for nothing… It’s sad things have changed, once dogs were more welcomed than they are now, on job sites, at pubs laying at the feet of their owners and in the world in general but political correctness, germpohobia, insurance companies and plain old naysayers will be the ruin of us if we don’t fight back. I love seeing dogs welcome here sighs and water bowls outside shops and cafes. It should be a dogs world, and a cats to if they want to participate.
    On the allergy side, I’m allergic to cat and dog fur & spit, coming up in a skin rash & itchy eyes on contact but on Sunday I had the pleasure of spending a couple of hours with 2 domesticated pure breed dingoes – with no allergic effects. It was wonderful in so many ways and very evident how four-legged attention deprived my life sadly is.

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 16 2014 10:18 pm

      Dingoes! I had a friend who raised an orphan from the zoo here. Great pet. Very intense animal.
      More places here are becoming dog friendly, so there’s hope commonsense may return. Dogs do seem to stabilize people and places. (And every library should have a cat…they know the good places to sit and dream). So appreciate you adding your experiences and for running by.

      Like

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