Interview: Bailey the Dog

By Anna, Phoebe, Bella, Ava and Elise (BBC School Reporters)

On Thursday 16th March for BBC School Report, we interviewed Mrs Baker about Bailey the Dog, and some of the students that Bailey works with.

Helping to take care of a pet gives a child a sense of pride and accomplishment, especially if the animal is able to return the affection; this is why we have a dog at Penrice!

Shari Young Kuchenbecker, a research psychologist, says: “The child who cares for a pet knows that what he or she does matters. So they’ll want to do more of it. The more successfully he feeds, walks, or emotionally bonds with the pet, the more confident he or she will feel.”

Mrs Baker, when did you get Bailey?

“We got Bailey 4 years ago in 2013, when she was 10 weeks old.”

When and why did she start coming to Penrice?

“Well, we had another dog called Harvey, but he had to go because his owner was leaving. We realized that Penrice needed another dog, so we brought Bailey in!”

How do you use her in the classroom and around school?

“Usually, when she gets here, she sleeps in the classroom! Then she watches the students read and work. At break times she will go for a walk around the school and people will come and say hello to her.”

What particular students does Bailey work with?

“Bailey mainly works with the Year 7s, however, sometimes students in the higher years will come to be cheered up.”

How does having Bailey in the classroom benefit the students?

“Bailey will make them less stressed and calm for the day ahead.”

Why do you think it’s important to have a school dog?

“The main thing that I have noticed is that Bailey cheers up the students and puts a smile on their faces.”

Next, we interviewed the students who spend most of their time with Bailey

Do you think the school dog is important?

“Yes, we think it is very important because it helps our knowledge and also makes us more confident with things like work.”

What is a typical lesson with Bailey like?

“Bailey’s favourite lesson is English! Sometimes we will come to the classroom and ask if Bailey is there, if she is we will stay with her inside, but if not it makes us sad because we want to spend more time with her.”

What effect does she have on you?

“She brightens up our day and makes us more confident when we are sad or nervous.”

How do you help look after Bailey?

“We give her treats, take her on walks, cuddle her and feed her lots of crisps!”

What’s your favourite thing about Bailey?

“If we are ever upset, she calms us down by giving us cuddles!”

Overall, we can report the massive benefits gained from having a school dog. Not only does Bailey build confidence within the students, she adds to the happiness of their day and makes school a friendlier place.