Meet Bella the Therapy Dog Our Media Team Reporters Dexter (Year 7) and Sam (Year 8) caught up with Mrs Kenny to find out all about Bella the Pug – our very own Therapy Dog. Can you tell us about your role at Penrice? Bella and I come to Penrice on Tuesdays and Thursdays and we work alongside students in Year 7 and 8 who spend time in the Learning Centre here at school How old is Bella? Bella is almost three years old – she will be three in March How long have you had her? Bella has been a family pet since she was 12 weeks old – she came all the way from Lancashire! Is she a special breed of pug? Bella is a normal pug; you could say the most special breed of all! What is a Therapy Dog? A therapy dog is a dog that helps people; whether it’s to provide affection or ‘listen’ to help with reading, help students feel calm when they may feel anxious or just cuddle – which they’re great at! Did you know she would be a good Therapy Dog? She was our first dog and we didn’t plan on it really. When I first moved to Cornwall I bumped into someone at the Eden Project and her dog had a Pets as Therapy vest and I looked into it. We saw that Penrice’s old Therapy Dog Harvey was leaving and knew how popular he was, so we applied! How did she get the job? She had an interview with members of the Leadership Team! Then we had a risk assessment interview to check it will not be dangerous. With dogs in schools, you have to be wary of phobias and sometimes children have allergies so you have to prepare for everything. Do you think other animals would make good Therapy Pets? They already use cats and I think all pets have their place in therapy – even reptiles (which I don’t really like!) can have a connection and make a difference. Pets really do help when you need. You can read more about Pets as Therapy here.