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Meet Gizmo the Therapy Dog

February 1, 2022

Last September elementary schools in Connecticut welcomed a new staff member: Gizmo. He's a small puppy with a very big heart. Plus, he's very smart and he knows things we can't quite understand.

Once, while hiking with his human friend, Gizmo met a boy and cuddled into his lap. The boy's mother asked Gizmo's fellow hiker if that was her dog. "Yes," she said. "This is my son," the mother said of the boy petting Gizmo, "and he has just learned that he lost his father in an accident." Gizmo somehow knew, and he now wants to help every kid find ways to be happy instead of mad, safe instead of lost, loved instead of alone.

Psychological and emotional issues are skyrocketing among elementary school kids - all kids for that matter. Gizmo's Pawesome Guide to Mental Health is teaching young children across America how to cope with the challenges they face every day, especially those that result from the isolation of the pandemic. "Children have been over-the-top responsive to this cute pup and his message," Helen Pridgen, vice president of chapter programs for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, which helped create the program said. "Gizmo helps children understand there are things they can do to help themselves when they feel sad, mad or worried."

Gizmo's Pawesome Guide to Mental Health is written for the youngest among us. "Hi. I'm Gizmo. I'm a therapy dog. I visit people in schools and other places to comfort them when they are feeling sad, mad or worried. There are things that you can do to help yourself when you feel sad, mad or worried. THAT'S WHAT THIS BOOK IS ALL ABOUT!" he says by way of introduction. You have to admit, he's cute. Look at those big eyes.

Gizmo's guide is available as a PDF document. You can view it either online or you're able to download it. It is displayed in booklet form which can easily be printed, or it can be displayed in a classroom using a computer and a smart screen

Click on "Gizmo's Pawesome Guide to Mental Health" for your online copy.