Students weigh in on South Lyon’s ‘therapy’ dog

Joey Abate ‘23, Photo Editor

The idea of a therapy dog seems to be an incredibly useful asset: an animal that is trained to provide affection, comfort, support to people in need, and neck massages when we get a little sore. (American Kennel Club) describes a therapy dog as, “dogs who go with their owners to volunteer in settings such as schools, hospitals, and nursing homes.” The South Lyon High School Community is lucky to have Oakley as our very own therapy dog…or are we? How much does Oakley really do for our school? Might he be just another hole in the shallow pockets of SLHS? 

Not much is known about Oakley’s past line of work, but rumor has it that he used to work as an accountant, but due to having a lack of opposable thumbs, he was fired. An anonymous source gathered that Oakley was denied by the local hospitals and nursing home, so his last resort was the local, average at best, school. Could this mean that Oakley is a fraud? Does he have what it takes to help those in crisis? Or even those who just need a quick glance into those sad eyes to find the motivation to complete their Of Mice and Men chapter work? 

It might be calming to play with Mrs. Glowacki’s zen garden, but is it more calming to stroke the golden locks of Oakley? Although our counselors are well-trained and communicative, is Oakley the better option? Are dogs really a man’s best friend? Can Oakley do what our counselors cannot?

Students looking for comfort can go to our lovable therapy dog, but he’s often MIA or taking a snooze when needed — on bomb threat day he was sleeping throughout the duration.

 Many students have also mentioned that he barks at those looking for comfort. Or even worse, he will start talking about his superior movie taste. We are seeking love and support, not the terror of a plump yellow lab’s wicked howl. 

Even if students were not afraid of Oakley’s barks, he is known for taking rigorous and lavish vacations, without any notice. So even if you wanted a meeting with him, he would most likely be out for the day. Unprofessional behavior for a ‘certified’ therapy dog. 

One of Oakley’s supporters anonymously said, “I think you are looking too far into it… He is just a dog bro.” Another pro-Oakley stan said, “Oakley came to SLHS during the 2020-2021 school year, which was not a good move on SLHS part. It was a hard time to adjust to kids being in and out of school, faces covered, along with people trying to social distance. We should cut him some slack.”

However, a non Oakley supporter “could not get over his Cheez-It breath” when in a meeting with the man himself.

Oakley may be an adorable dog, however, at the end of the day, can we truly rely on Oakley? Will our needs for a stronger, independent, and hard-working dog be met? Or, is this dog just too out of his league? SLHS may never know. 

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