Troy Heritage Trail Students Read to Comfort Dogs

Troy Heritage Trail Elementary School second-graders recently took park in an opportunity to read several books to local comfort dogs. The students took turns reading and petting and hugging the golden retrievers Nigel and Brutus as their handlers sat near and answered questions from the students.

Teacher Melissa Lundy has hosted the program for several years, beginning when she taught first grade at Heritage Trail Elementary School. She then brought the program to her second-graders when she transferred grade levels prior to this school year.

“The dogs give comfort, love and support to the students,” teacher Melissa Lundy said. “Nigel’s been part of my class and our class pet for four years. Having him here just makes us all happy.”

Nigel’s handler is James Morrison, a U.S. Army Security Agency veteran who served as a German translator. Brutus’ handler Gene Weisbecker, a U.S. Navy veteran who served on a submarine.

The dogs visit the classrooms once a month.