S: BRIDGER'S TALE: A TRUE STORY OF MRS. TURNER'S CLASSROOM THERAPY DOG
BC: Bridger Certified Professional Therapy Dog Camanche Elementary School Camanche, Iowa 2004-2012
FC: Bridger's Tale The True Story of Mrs. Turner's Amazing Certified Professional Therapy Dog | 2002-2012
1: Most dogs you may know might be able to do a few tricks, Like fetching slippers, chasing balls, or catching sticks. They might lounge around the house all day, Chewing on shoes, barking at cars, or waiting to play. Not Bridger. His life had a purpose and a mission, To help children improve in reading and addition. He helped calm anxious children and comforted the down hearted, By nuzzling and snuggling, his great love he imparted. He attended field trips and all kinds of school activities, His presence was required at each and every festivity. He helped children overcome their fears who were afraid of dogs, Because he was loving, peaceful, patient and never at odds. His beauty went beyond his chocolate, brown fur and big smiles, By showing his concern for students and making them feel worthwhile. Bridger’s talents were funny, original, and unique, He could sense frustration in a child or with treats, play hide and seek! Why was this angel taken who left us with such heartache? While we may never know, his legacy we will not forsake! Yet Bridger’s memory will remain in the hearts and minds of everyone; His teachings, impact, and love will be forgotten by none. -Gina Shelley | The Beauty of Bridger
2: Bridger came to Camanche Elementary School in 2004 with the help of Dr. Sheryl Ernst, a local veterinarian, who introduced Mrs. Kayleen Turner to the CARES dog therapy program. Bridger went through months of preparation before he was adopted by Mr. & Mrs. Turner to work as a therapy dog at the school.
3: When Bridger was young, he still put in a full day of work, and it made him dog tired too! | Bridger was named after the famous explorer, Jim Bridger. His father was Butte and mother was Sagel.
4: The Canine Assistance Rehabilitation Education & Services (CARES) trains dogs in a Kansas prison by inmates. They learn many commands and are trained to be human companions and are able to accompany their owner in all public places.
5: Bridger was welcomed by Mrs. Turner's very excited third grade class! Immediately, the students fell in love with his gentle heart. He was calm and friendly right from the first day! Mrs. Turner knew right away that Bridger would definitely make a positive impact in her classroom!
6: Bridger & Mrs. Turner work with third grade students.
7: Bridger was also a popular visitor in other classrooms. He worked throughout the school and went where he was needed. | Bridger was donated by Lauren and Jeff Seitz of Silver Bow Labradors in Washington. They gave Bridger to the CARES program where Mrs. Turner was able to adopt him. Mr. and Mrs. Seitz knew that service dogs could change the lives of others. They have been two of Bridger's biggest fans.
9: Mrs. Turner's Talented Class 2011
10: A YEAR TO REMEMBER
11: Bridger Believed in You!
12: "We loved having Bridger help us learn how to measure!"
14: It takes teamwork!
15: Being read to is my favorite! | 2011
16: Bridger's last two classes.
18: Reading was our favorite activity this year! Bridger helped us to be better readers! | Some of Bridger's last days in school were spent reading to him.
19: Mrs. Turner was always trying to share the importance and value of having a therapy dog, with other educators and parents. She would take him to conferences and workshops to demonstrate how effective his presence was with her students.
20: Learning science!
21: Bridger always had fun during Halloween. He would dress in a costume just like everyone else!
23: Bridger's Buddies! | It's story time! | I love third grade!
25: Mrs. Turner and Bridger were inseparable!
26: Saying Goodbye to Bridger | In March 2012, Bridger became very sick. The doctors diagnosed him with having a brain tumor. The medicines he took helped with the pain and made his last few weeks with his family and students bearable. He unexpectedly passed away at home, during the night.
27: Mrs. Turner's students, the school and community sent cards and their love at Bridger's passing. 2011-2012
29: POEMS ABOUT BRIDGER | Bridger Remembered Shiny, chocolate colored fur glistened in the sun. Always surrounded by kids waiting to pet your soft fur. Helped us to smile when we felt blue. Made an impact on this town as big as the world. Left paw prints on hearts that can not be replaced. Colorful bandannas draped across your neck. Long, slobbery tongue licking little kids’ faces. Cold, wet nose nudging at toys, hinting you wanted to play. Your adorable looks giving people your sweet, puppy dog face. Shook the water off and getting the people around you soaked! Loved by your family, students, teachers and so many others. You will be missed so much at school and at home. We love you Bridger! By Kalley Stolts | Mr. Bridger Big, brown galoot Fun loving A clown A tail that clears everything in its path Comical Budges on the stairs Eats anything Beggar Loves unconditionally Listens to Dad Whines to Mom Endearing Unforgettable. By Kathy Koski
30: The Bridger Effect I had the opportunity to work with Bridger in a professional capacity. For three years I served as a speech-language pathologist at Camanche Elementary School. There, I worked with students that had mild speech delays to those with significant communication difficulties. One of my students had a great deal of trouble focusing on a conversational topic and remaining on task. He would move from task to task and topic to topic very quickly. I had read of the benefits of using animals to help children to focus. I invited Bridger to join some therapy sessions. At first my student was focused totally on Bridger’s presence. (We were both pretty excited to have him with us!) Bridger took up a position next to the student’s chair. With my student's hand continually touching or petting Bridger, the work part of the therapy session began. It was almost immediately apparent that Bridger had a calming affect on the student. While remaining in constant physical contact with Bridger, my student was able to focus his attention on the tasks at hand. In addition, he was able to respond to my directions better than he had in the past. It was exciting to see how well my student responded and the progress we made in that session. Needless to say, I had Bridger back for several more sessions with this student. Bridger was brought in for sessions with other students, as well. One session was to help a child learn the difference between what was real and what was make believe. We compared Bridger to a big red cartoon dog. Having Bridger physically present made the comparisons more tangible thereby increasing understanding. That session was the basis for additional therapy sessions leading up the student reaching his therapy goal. The Bridger effect in action! Kathy Koski Speech-Language Pathologist
31: Dear Kayleen, Chris and Girls, I know nothing I say will make your hearts stop hurting, but please know we feel your pain. Bridger was a one-of-a-kind boy, and he touched so many lives. He will always be in our hearts. From Laurie and Tom ---------- Dear Mrs. Turner and Class, I'm sorry that Bridger got sick and passed away and I'm sorry for your loss. I hope that you and your class are doing well. From Alexus Kimble ---------- Dear Mrs. Turner and Class, I am very sorry that Bridger passed away. He was a nice dog. His fur is soft and warm. I liked to pet when I was walking on the blacktop. From Dominik ---------- Dear Mrs. Turner and Family, I feel bad for your loss. Bridger was a good dog. I wish we could all see Bridger again. I will never forget him in my life. I am glad you had Bridger and I hope you feel better. From Gracie | Dear Mrs. Turner and Family, I'm sorry that Bridger died and I'm also sad because he was the best school dog ever. I'm also sad because my brothers, Dyland and Drake, got to have Bridger in their class, but not me. Your friend and Bridger's, Danika Dodson THOUGHTS ABOUT BRIDGER "When I'm having an Asthma attack, Bridger calms me down so I don't breathe as hard. I didn't have as many Asthma attacks this year as I did last year with Bridger in the room. I think I am smarter with Bridger near because he came around and made me feel good." -Evan Vogel "I was afraid of all dogs. Then I realized that Bridger was nice. I started to like him. I was able to walk him and get his water. Now, I have my own dog. I love Bridger because he is the first BIG dog I've ever liked." -Kylie Vogel | "Bridger has helped me get the courage I needed to read better. Whenever I had trouble with a word, he would come up to me and help me sound it out. Whenever I was stuck on a problem in math, I would look up at Bridger and he would come over to me and help me." -Zoe Wirth "Last year I had problems concentrating. Bridger makes forget about my grandma's cancer because he is so funny. Sometimes my friends and I get into fights, but Bridger makes us stop fighting because he makes us laugh and then we stop fighting." -Easton McDaniel "Bridger helped my anxiety and to not get sad. Whenever he gets near me, it makes me feel happy. One time when I was sad, Bridger came to me and lay by me until I felt better. Bridger has helped me get my work done this year because i don't feel the stress of getting it done." -Cody Mink