Puppy love: Student teacher gives therapy dog lesson at Asa Adams

Fourth-grade students at Asa Adams Elementary School in Orono had a special visitor for Valentine’s Day: Ellie, a black Labrador retriever and certified therapy dog.

The visit was arranged by Natalie McCarthy, a senior elementary education major at the University of Maine College of Education and Human Development, who is a student teacher at the school. McCarthy taught a lesson about therapy dogs, who are trained to provide comfort and love to groups and individuals in settings such as hospitals, nursing homes and schools. Students in the class were able to pet Ellie and interact with her to see how she works.

McCarthy will graduate in May after completing her 15-week student teaching placement. Her mentor teacher at Asa Adams is Jen Easler.