MONTICELLO — Monticello High School agriculture teacher Elizabeth Rost would eventually like to see her students tending to cattle as part of their animal-science class, but that is a ways off.
But dogs? That’s doable.
The class took care of training three dogs as part of a Teacher’s Pets Doggie Daycare that was offered during the third quarter of the school year. The pets — all belonging to staff members — were taken care of for most of the shortened school day.
The 11 students enjoyed taking care of and teaching Arya, a German shepherd mix; Layla, a goldendoodle; and Maisy, a golden retriever.
“I feel like having a dog in the classroom just livens it up. It makes the school less depressing,” student Lana Derossett said.
“Our 10-year plan — big dream here — we would love to have a livestock facility,” Rost said. “So this was one way for us to have live animals in class and have that experience, but obviously easier than having cattle here. We just wanted that hands-on experience with animals.”
Riley Donahue, whose dog, Arya, was part of the course, said he learned some patience as he tried to teach the 6-month-old canine not to jump on people.
“I learned you’ve got to be patient with a dog this young. You just have to realize they’re still learning, they’re still young, they’re like kids,” Donahue said.
Rost said it was a good quarter to try out the doggie day care, which ended last Friday. She said a first-hour prep period and a small enrollment in the animal-science class made it an ideal time to give it a try.
She considered the effort a success and hopes to offer it again in the future.