St Andrew’s Montessori is very pleased to welcome Bruno the Basset Hound into our school family. Bruno – a life-size toy Basset complete with a bed, collar, lead and brush for grooming – has settled well into his new home and is a lovely addition to our little community.

Our idea to ‘adopt a dog’ is loosely based on the ‘Pets As Therapy’ ethos, whereby volunteers work with their own pets on a weekly basis to bring joy, comfort and companionship to individuals who might feel lonely or isolated and genuinely appreciate being able to touch and stroke a friendly animal.

The Pets As Therapy charity has been running in the UK since 1983, and has been at the forefront of community based Animal Assisted Therapy across the length and breadth of the UK there since. It’s also the largest organisation of its kind in Europe, working with inspiring and dedicated volunteers who share their time and their wonderful pets with people in need.

Bruno might not be a ‘real’ dog but when you’re a small child, imagination is vital to a growing understanding of the world. The children at St Andrew’s love to cuddle up with Bruno and some little ones have even sat and read stories to him. We thought that he would be useful when helping new children to settle in to their new environment and Bruno has, indeed, been most obliging. He has also proved to be a wonderful way to nurture the ‘caring for pets’ mindset that we encourage at St Andrew’s.

Please do pop in and pay Bruno a visit, if you have a moment; give him a pat and we’re pretty sure your little ones will have a story to share about our favourite Basset Hound.