She’s the therapy dog who visits students at Thousand Oaks Elementary School.
She stopped by today to take Valentine’s Day pictures with the kids.
Fifth-grader Samuel Rohland loves Hazel.
“She makes me feel happy. I sit with her. I pet her. I talk with her owner.”
Samuel and Hazel spend time together every month.
Samuel’s dad was in the Navy and passed away when Samuel was only two years old.
Time with Hazel helps.
She visits a lot of students who have parents in the military.
“Kiddos think they are the only ones going through that,” said Thousand Oaks Counselor Jenny Brooks. “We wanted to connect those kiddos so they could build a community. And Hazel meets with them and really gives them a boost.”
But Hazel doesn’t just help military-connected students; her role has expanded to help students deal with all sorts of things.
Today, students got to thank Hazel for her help.
Students donated money for the opportunity to take a picture with Hazel and make a custom frame.
After petting and posing for a picture with Hazel, Samuel revealed his framed picture would be going to his Valentine, his mother.
The money raised for the pictures will help Hazel win a contest at Pet Partners, a non-profit that raises money for therapy animals.