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SANT VICENC DELS HORTS, Spain – Surrounded by parents and teachers, five children with disabilities in a Spanish special-needs school cannot hide their excitement when Soul the therapy dog walks in wagging her tail.
“What we have noticed a lot during the time of the pandemic is that they pay much more attention to the dog,” special education teacher Meritxell Arias told Reuters as the children laughed and petted the golden retriever, who also appeared to be smiling.
She explained that because the teachers used face masks the children cannot see them smile. “But the dog does not wear a mask and that is giving us a response that we did not expect.”
With the kids back at school in Sant Vicenc dels Horts near Barcelona after six months at home due to coronavirus restrictions, the therapy dog programme is a big help, said director Joan Frencesc Porras.
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