Scooda — Shelter

Location: Midland, Michigan

Scooda, a rescue Bichon Frise mix, has touched the lives of many children with special needs. Having a rough start of his own, Scooda spent nearly 2 years isolated, forced to live in a closet. Luckily, Scooda finally found his way into a rescue, but needed to overcome his severe separation anxiety, learn basic dog social skills, and put weight on his little, emaciated body. His foster mom, being a special education teacher, saw a gentleness in Scooda that she did not normally see in her other foster dogs. She quickly saw an opportunity to not only help Scooda, but also to help many children in the process. She adopted him and got permission to take Scooda to her elementary special education classroom each day. Within a year, he became a certified therapy dog. Over the years, he helped countless children become better readers as well as provided a listening ear, countless hugs, and a shoulder to cry on. In return, the children helped Scooda overcome his anxiety. It was a perfect match. Scooda loved going to school so much, he would cry with excitement when he knew he was getting close to his school. For 9 years Scooda worked at his school every day until he was diagnosed with Cushings Disease and SARDS which caused him to lose his sight, forcing him to retire. Despite being retired, Scooda still makes an occasional appearance at his school to visit the students of Floyd Elementary. This little rescue dog, Scooda, truly exemplifies what it means to be a hero.