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Wheelchair dog teaches school children about resilience

Poppy the dog with her wheelchair Credit: Sarah Griffiths

Children at a primary school in Erdington were taught about the importance of resilience and change at an assembly, based on the inspirational story of Poppy the dog.

The six-year-old miniature Dachshund’s lost the use of her legs and became incontinent after being diagnosed with a spinal condition a year ago.

Poppy the dog's inspirational story is used to teach children about resilience Credit: The Arthur Terry Learning Partnership

However, after a crucial operation and remarkable recovery, she’s riding high in a custom-made wheelchair and co-ordinating pink nappy.

Pupils at both the Arthur Terry Learning Partnership’s Mere Green and Brookvale schools are benefitting from her uplifting assemblies.

Poppy the dog was the subject of a school assembly Credit: The Arthur Terry Learning Partnership

The children love to see Poppy and she adores coming into school and interacting with the pupils – she can still wag her tail, so I know she’s excited. She used to be a PAT dog (Pets as therapy) and we went into elderly homes, where she had such a positive impact on residents. Now she helps children learn about a range of topics including overcoming challenges, acceptance of others and other important values we instil in all our children.

On top of all that, you can’t beat the presence of a pooch in pink for getting tongues wagging among pupils – her visits always spark their imaginations. I’ve packed Poppy’s rucksac and she can’t wait to wheel into school!”

– Poppy's owner and teacher Sarah Griffiths
Poppy the dog taking a swim Credit: Sarah Griffiths