Furry Friends Teach Students Character

“Dogs of Character” visit Lockhart Elementary for lesson in tolerance, compassion and anti-bullying

April 24, 2012

They may have fur and tails, but it didn’t stop members of the “The Dogs of Character" from recently teaching 600 HISD students some important life lessons. The group of canines visited Lockhart Elementary on April 19 to share their stories of overcoming challenges that many school-aged children face.

"We use the animals to deliver messages of diversity, tolerance, and self-empowerment," said Dogs of Character Creative Director Joy Southard. “Each of our rescue dogs has gone through a situation involving one of these character elements. They have a message that is important and meaningful to the kids."

That was certainly case with one dog, Quincy, who was abused and thrown out of a moving car window. Luckily Quincy survived and his story is used to encourage children to get help if they are ever in an abusive situation.

Lockhart students also got to meet Zoe, Guthrie, Rue and Suki - who gave a lesson in leadership. “We try to get kids to understand that her leadership comes from being calm and respectful," said Southard. “Her message is that you don’t have to growl and be mean to get anyone’s attention."

Staff at Lockhart worked with the group to create a campus specific presentation that delivered an anti-bullying message to the children. “The dogs really showed our kids different ways to work out problems, to work together, and to be friends," said kindergarten teacher Ebony Brown.

The Dogs of Character travel throughout Texas giving presentations to school aged children. The hope is that they will be able to visit more HISD schools in the future. For more information, visit www.dogsofcharacter.com