The Student News Site of Summit High School

The Summit Pinnacle

The Student News Site of Summit High School

The Summit Pinnacle

The Student News Site of Summit High School

The Summit Pinnacle

Dogs Wander the Halls of Summit

The impact staff member’s pets have on students

While sitting in the library working on a seemingly endless to-do list of homework, students look up and find themselves face to face with an unlikely acquaintance. A dog wanders the library, happy to offer students a break from work in exchange for some pets, and it appears it’s found its next victim.

Most dogs seen around campus are brought in for a variety of reasons. Some are the therapy dogs that are for Summits mindfulness and P.E classes, which are taken into school by their owners/trainers for volunteer work with the students. Other than this, many staff members have dogs that they like to bring to school.

SRC teacher Barbara Murphy brings her 7-month-old golden retriever Fynn to school at least twice a month.

“Many of the students just love to love on him, hug him and pet him. Animals can have a very calming impact and help reduce stress and improve mood,” said Murphy.

This decrease in stress is seen worldwide, based on an article by Hopkins Medicine, this simple act of petting a dog can greatly lower the stress hormone cortisol. Meaning, being around dogs and pets in general can have great benefits for students. If petting a dog for 5-10 minutes decreases a students anxiety about an upcoming test or helps cheer them up, then they are definitely worth having at Summit.

“If you asked the students, they would say Fynn Fridays are the best days,” said Murphy.

On selected Fridays, Fynn can be seen making his rounds at Summit, typically visiting the library, counseling center, trailhead, SRC and the Commons. He loves all the attention and students are happy to give it to him.

Fynn isn’t the only dog brought into Summit. Vice principal Mary Thomas has two dogs, Sweet Pea and Teddy. When Thomas has to work longer hours, she’ll bring in her dogs so that they get a few more walks and pets. Students love to interact with them and see them around school.

“I have worked in a few schools where well-behaved dogs and therapy dogs are allowed, and staff bring them every day. I think animals create a sense of calm and friendliness in a school setting,” said Thomas.

However, while having dogs around the school brightens most students’ days, others may have differing opinions on the dogs. Some students may have allergies, dogs can be disruptive and students may feel uncomfortable or just generally dislike dogs. Which is part of the reason an anonymous complaint was given. And because of this, Thomas’s dogs haven’t been around as frequently in school.

Regardless of these comments, it’s clear that having dogs at school has had a positive impact on students at Summit. So if you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed, consider spending time with your own pets or one of our staff members’ dogs.

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About the Contributor
Kepler Orton
Kepler Orton, Staff Writer

In her free time, Kepler enjoys wandering the halls of bookstores and trying (and failing) to teach herself how to play the guitar. If you can’t find her, simply follow the trail of yarn scraps and the scent of chlorine as she spends all her time at the pool playing water polo, and most of her time at home crafting. She is an avid tote bag hoarder, todo list maker, and music lover. Kepler can also be found in Summit's orchestra playing (mostly) all the right notes on her violin. She’s a sophomore, and as it’s her first year on the Pinnacle, she is excited to expand her skills as a writer.


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