Welcome Ariel!

New FMS therapy dog.


Wyatt Miller

Ariel with one of her favorite people in school, Mrs. Cathy Baker, middle school secretary.

Wyatt Miller, Website Editor

Along with all the new teachers and staff comes a very special new addition to the Freedom Area Middle school staff: Ariel! 

Ariel is our new FMS therapy dog. She is a two year old, purebred standard poodle. The teachers and Dr. Ryan Smith, principal, saw the success with Rosie at the high school and noticed that students were having a hard time coming out of COVID, so they decided that the middle school would also benefit from a therapy dog. Ariel and her training cost a few thousand dollars. All payments were grant funded.  

The school bought Ariel from New Hope Assistance Dogs in July. Ariel knows the commands: sit, down, off, shake, come, no, yes, heel off, side, stay, okay, speak, quiet, fix, quick, easy, shake, move, settle, watch me, and stop. It is important that we are consistent with her commands when working with her. 

 After school Ariel mainly lives with Mrs. Sara Miller, but Mrs. Cathy Baker and Dr. Smith also care for her on some evenings and weekends. When Ariel is not at the school she likes to go for walks, play with other dogs, and chase animals like rabbits and white tail deer. Ariel will usually eat at the same time as other dogs or the people she is staying with. Ariel sleeps in the same room as the person taking care of her. She is supposed to sleep on her dog bed, but would rather sleep in the bed with the people taking care of her. Ariel will follow and stay close to the people she trusts the most at school and at home. Ariel would probably rather walk somewhere than ride in a car because every morning on the way to school she does seem to get car sick.